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SxJ^ibris 

* 

PROFESSOR J.S.WILL 



THE IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

VOL. II 



THE IMPERIAL 
CONFERENCE 

A HISTORY AND STUDY 



BY 

RICHARD JEBB, M.A. 



IN TWO VOLUMES 
VOL. II 



LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO. 

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON 

NE\V YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA 

1911 

All rights reserved 



TM 




89936(1 



LIST OF ABBREVIATED REFERENCES 

R = Report of Proceedings of the Colonial Conference, 

1907. Cd. 3523. 
P = Papers appended thereto. Cd. 3524. 

Where quoted in the course of the narrative, Resolutions 
actually passed by the Conference are printed in heavy type. 



\ 



CONTENTS 



PART V 

LONDON, 1907 

CHAP. PAGE 

X. THE RECESS, 1902-1907 3 

XI. THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 68 

XII. IMPERIAL DEFENCE 136 

XIII. PREFERENCE THE BANGED Doou . . . .180 

XIV. SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 266 

XV. THE DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND THE ALL-RED ROUTE 321 

APPENDIX J. PREFERENCES ENACTED, 1902-07 . . 369 

K. RESOLUTIONS OF THE IMPERIAL CON- 
FERENCE ..... 373 

M. INTER-IMPERIAL MAIL SERVICES . . 388 
N. DIAGRAM IMPERIAL EVOLUTION facing p. 390 

INDEX 391 



PART V 

LONDON, 1907 



VOL. II 



LONDON, 1907 

IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

FIFTH SESSION 

MINISTERS PRESENT 
Britain : 

*Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Premier. 
The Earl of Elgin, Secretary for the Colonies. 
{Sir Edward Grey, Secretary for Foreign Affairs. 
[Lord Tweedmouth, First Lord of the Admiralty. 
fMr. R. B. Haldane, Secretary for War. 
f Mr. H. H. Asquith, Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
fMr. D. Lloyd George, President of the Board of Trade. 
f Mr. Sydney Buxton, Postmaster-General. 
fMr. John Burns, President of the Local Government Board, 
f Lord Loreburn, Lord Chancellor. 
JMr. John Morley, Secretary for India. 
JThe Earl of Crewe, President of the Council. 

Canada : 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Premier. 

f Sir Frederick Borden, Minister of Defence and Militia. 
fMr. L. P. Brodeur, Minister of Marine and Fisheries. 

Australia : 

Mr. Alfred Deakin, Premier. 
f Sir William Lyne, Minister for Trade and Customs. 

New Zealand : 

Sir Joseph Ward, Premier. 

Cape Colony : 

Dr. L. S. Jameson, Premier, 
f Dr. T. W. Smartt, Commissioner of Works. 

Natal : 

Mr. F. R. Moor, Premier. 

Newfoundland : 

Sir Robert Bond, Premier. 

* 

* Present at opening meeting only. 

f Spoke only when questions relating to their special departments were 
under discussion. 

| Not recorded to have spoken. 



CHAPTER X 

THE RECESS, 1902-1907 

FROM 1902 onwards the history of the Imperial Con- Position of 
ference, covering that of the Imperial movement Pl 
generally, centres round the agitation in Britain for 
adapting the fiscal system of the country to the 
purpose of Imperial Reciprocity. By force of circum- 
stances rather than through a priori reasoning the 
struggle for Imperial union had at length concen- 
trated on the real crux of the problem i.e. the fact 
that no form of State can endure, even if it can 
temporarily be created, unless based upon an avowed 
economic inter-dependence of its members. It is 
within the province of the present work, but beyond 
the capacity of the present volume, to give an account 
of the vicissitudes of Preference in Britain as well as 
beyond the seas, and to discuss the difficulties which 
the resistance of the British Free Traders created for 
the Empire in India and elsewhere. Unquestionably 
the story of Mr. Chamberlain's campaign will always 
possess a fascinating interest for future generations. 
If Imperial Reciprocity is destined to win through, 
posterity will inquire wonderingly how the resistance 
to so vital a policy could have been so prolonged. If, 
on the other hand, the opportunity for establishing 
Imperial Reciprocity is finally to be lost, the historian 
of the Decline and Fall will equally be concerned to 
comprehend how the British people came to refuse 
the greatest destiny ever offered to any State or 
nation. In either event contemporaries of the crisis 



4 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

will be summoned, through their recorded acts or 
utterances, to give evidence as to the political con- 
ditions which rendered possible so strange a course 
of affairs. But it is not practicable here to consider 
the vast influence in Britain of commercial and 
financial vested interests, subsidising both political 
parties in order to preserve Free Trade for the 
sake of the middleman's profits ; the constant play 
of personal jealousy among the professional politicians 
of the party system ; and the fatal divorce of party 
from principle which is often associated with degra- 
dation of politics. These factors, though obscured 
from notice in the whirl of affairs, may be among 
those which chiefly explain Mr. Balfour's rejection of 
the Canadian offer in 1902, and the devious career 
which has lately plunged the "constitutional" party 
into the abyss of a proposal to substitute Referendum 
for Representative Government. 

chamber- Belated wisdom, learning from the event, may 
*sa c a ri d easily suggest that Mr. Chamberlain made a fatal 
mistake in deciding to rely upon the conversion of 
the Unionist Party to his policy, instead of at once 
setting about the creation of a new political party, 
which by this time might have become a paramount 
force. In general it can be stated now with confidence 
that the victory of Tariff Reform has been delayed by 
a popular distrust of the Unionist Party rather than 
by any abiding dislike of Mr. Chamberlain's policy, 
which by nature is congenial to British instincts. 
But in one respect Mr. Chamberlain was handicapped 
by circumstances which could not be ignored or 
evaded. In 1903 the people of Britain were mostly 
Free Traders ; not indeed by conviction few of 
them ever having been concerned to examine the 
matter but by tradition, which counts for almost 
as much. The protagonist of Preference appealed to 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 5 

them as Free Traders. Therefore, he was constrained 
to represent his policy, or suffer it to be represented, 
as one entailing a " sacrifice " for the sake of Imperial 
union, in so far as it was necessary to impose duties 
on certain articles of food which were then on the free 
list. How much his campaign was prejudiced beyond 
the seas by this notion of sacrifice cannot easily be 
realised by those who have had no direct or exten- 
sive acquaintance with public opinion in the larger 
Dominions. It antagonised the self-respecting instinct 
of Colonial nationalism, which was already uncomfort- 
ably conscious that Britain was discharging more than 
her share of Imperial obligations. Many in Canada 
and Australasia who favoured Preference as a principle 
could not help rebelling at the suggestion, sedulously 
advertised by Mr. Chamberlain's political opponents, 
that the struggling masses of industrial Britain should 
be called upon to make a sacrifice for the benefit of 
prosperous Colonial farmers. 

From the protectionist standpoint of the Dominions The Pr - 

, i i -i i / r> ^ tectionist 

there would be, ot course, no sacrifice whatever of standpoint. 
insular interests in the actual programme put forward 
by Mr. Chamberlain. In the Colonial view his pro- 
posal was one of unmitigated advantage to the 
people of Britain, who would not only acquire a 
stronger position for their manufactures in the ever- 
expanding Colonial markets, but would draw revenue 
from their foreign competitors at home in relief of 
their own taxation. The trivial duties which Mr. 
Chamberlain proposed to levy on produce competing 
with a large and expansive duty-free supply could not 
in practice be passed on the consumer in Britain. 
They would be deducted from the profits of the foreign 
producer and the British or foreign middlemen who 
handled his goods in transit. When Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier asked in 1902 for "exemption" from the 



6 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

shilling corn duty, he was acting in behalf of the 
western grain-growers and other Canadian interests, 
not in behalf of British consumers. Clearly the 
Canadian Government, when they offered a substan- 
tial price for the desired " exemption," had no doubt 
whatever as to who was paying the shilling duty, or 
was destined to pay it as soon as business adjusted 
itself to the new tax. " Exemption " would not affect 
the price of Canadian wheat in Britain ; but it would 
tend to increase the price receivable on the Canadian 
prairie by the amount of the remitted tax at Liver- 
pool. The Canadian interest was to obtain that 
exemption, not only for its own sake but as an induce- 
ment to emigrants to settle in favoured Canada rather 
than in foreign countries. 

Imperially, therefore, Mr. Chamberlain's move- 
ment would have been on surer ground had its leader 
assumed the protectionist standpoint from the outset, 
instead of trying to appeal as a Free Trader to Free 
Traders. At the time it may have seemed unneces- 
sary to his purpose for him to set about weaning the 
British people from their Free Trade superstition ; a 
task which, considering the magnitude of the capitalist 
interests behind the superstition, would obviously re- 
quire many years. Yet the Tariff Reform League has 
already come near accomplishing the national conver- 
sion. Had he been a younger man, Mr. Chamberlain 
might or might not have decided to make sure of 
ultimate success by forming a new party to carry out 
his policy ; but he very probably would have taken 
a more protectionist line at the start. In the years 
preceding his resignation he would sometimes advise 
the restive younger politicians on his own side, if they 
wished to make a place for themselves, to take up the 
whole question of the national fiscal policy, and recon- 
sider it with a view to satisfying themselves as to 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 7 

whether the existing system was really based on sound 
irnptions or was still calculated to serve the needs 
of the time. Many appear to have done so, under 
pressure of circumstances, in the last seven years ; 
with the result that if Imperial Reciprocity were to 
fail Insular Protection might not improbably follow. 
At any rate Free Trade, which formerly was an 
article of faith, is to the mind of the rising generation 
either a mischievous anachronism or an open question. 

Mr. Chamberlain's original proposal contained The for- 

... i 'ti i bidden 

another feature which is supposed with less reason to list." 
have lost him sympathy in the Dominions. Much has 
been made by his partisan opponents of what they call 
his "forbidden list" of Colonial manufactures. He 
suggested that part of the arrangement might be that 
the protectionist Colonies should for a time refrain 
from trying to foster certain industries, to be agreed 
upon, to which their local conditions were clearly 
unfavourable. That was never a vital part of his 
proposal, and he himself did not persist with it. In 
the Dominions it was never taken very seriously. 
There, some protectionist advocates of Preference 
were not unfavourably inclined ; while one and all 
felt quite confident in the ability of their own 
Governments to safeguard local interests in any fiscal 
negotiations. The interest of the proposal has become 
academic, British advocates of Preference having long 
since dropped it. 

Among British Imperialists there were a few who sir 

\ . Frederick 

still clung to the belief that closer union could be Pollock's 
approached more hopefully from the political than 
from the commercial side. They seem to have per- 
suaded themselves that others might succeed in 
establishing the Advisory Council which Mr. Chamber- 
lain had proposed in vain. It was a curious mis- 
conception to think that the Dominions might accept 



8 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

from any other quarter a proposal which they had 
just refused to take from the Colonial Secretary 
who had gained so exceptional a hold upon their 
imagination and esteem. Not that Mr. Chamber- 
lain's unique reputation ever rested upon any of his 
specific proposals for closer union. He had attracted 
the Britons oversea by his manifestly sincere and 
practically active sympathy with the general idea ; by 
his energetic enthusiasm for the peculiarly Colonial 
business of " development " (in the Crown Colonies) ; 
and by his habit of supporting the man on the 
spot, of which the conspicuous example in South 
Africa was not the only instance. 1 Ignoring the 
decisiveness of Mr. Chamberlain's experience, a 
private committee was formed by Sir Frederick 
Pollock, the eminent jurist, apparently for the purpose 
of taking up the scheme of an advisory council where 
Mr. Chamberlain had left off, and of demonstrating by 
its success that there was really no need to worry 
about Preference or quarrel with Free Trade. 
Proposed Sir Frederick Pollock explained his proposal at the 
Royal Colonial Institute on April 11, 1905. He was 
supported, he said, by a large number of eminent 
men in the Dominions whose names he was not at 
liberty to give, excepting those of Mr. Parkin 
and Mr. Reeves. Mr. Haldane also was among his 
" colleagues," who included Tariff Reformers as well 
as Free Traders. In its main feature, which was the 
idea of turning the Conference of Premiers into an 
advisory council by enlarging its membership with 
persons other than Cabinet Ministers, the scheme 
resembled Mr. Chamberlain's abortive suggestion, and 
was liable to encounter the same difficulties. The 

1 Cf. Sir Charles Bruce, The Broad Stone of Empire, passim. He gives also a 
valuable account of Mr. Chamberlain's work in regard to Tropical Agriculture, 
Medicine, and the Colonial Nursing Association. 



THE RECESS, 1902-1<)07 9 

Council, or Committee, which technically might be a 
committee of the Privy Council, was not to have any 
legislative or executive powers. Its function would 
be solely " to deal by way of information and advice" 
with " matters of Imperial interest not confined to 
one colony or dependency, and not capable of being 
disposed of by the action of the Colonial Office or any 
other single department of State." For example, Sir 
Frederick Pollock doubted whether any such matter 
as preferential tariffs could be " even adequately dis- 
cussed without much better means of consultation than 
exist at present." l A second part of the scheme was 
the establishment of a secretarial office for the Council ; 
supplemented with an Imperial Commission, primarily 
for the purpose of supplying the new Imperial Council 
with information on current problems. Some who 
deprecated the suggestion that the Conference should 
be converted into an advisory council thought from 
the outset that the plan of the secretarial office con- 
tained the germ of a useful appendage to the Con- 
ference as it stood. 

Such an advisory council, it was pointed out Different 
in criticism, 2 would be essentially different from existing 
the Imperial Conference, which apparently it was e nce. er 
intended to incorporate, submerge, and supersede. 
The Conference had become an assemblage of the 
Governments themselves. Being coextensive and 
coterminous with those Governments, it could not in 
any way challenge or encroach upon their authority. 
It did possess in a sense legislative and executive 
authority, in so far as its members collectively were 
the Governments of the whole Empire. The Advi- 
sory Council, on the other hand, was to be a separate 

1 The Dominions have established preference without the aid of any 
Advisory Council. 

1 Morniny Pott, Sept. 30, 1903. 



10 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

institution, external to the Governments both in- 
dividually and collectively, and lacking any kind of 
executive power. Its recommendations would either 
carry no weight, in which case its existence would be 
superfluous ; or else, if they did carry weight, the 
institution might easily become embarrassing and 
objectionable to Governments unwilling to act accord- 
ingly. Or, taking a popular rather than a Govern- 
ment standpoint, would there be no danger of the 
Advisory Council being used as a shield by a weak 
Government desirous of excusing some disastrous 
policy or evading some disagreeable duty ? A rather 
unfortunate analogy or precedent was suggested by 
Sir Frederick Pollock when he cited the Committee 
of Imperial Defence. For, that Committee was re- 
presented by Mr. Balfour, the Prime Minister, as 
endorsing the view that invasion was impossible. 
But Lord Roberts, the leading military expert on 
the Committee, presently followed with a grave 
statement in the opposite sense ; a circumstance which 
seemed to suggest that the politicians had succeeded 
in manipulating the Committee on to the line of least 
political resistance. 

The Sir Frederick Pollock appears to have obtained the 

despatch, ear of Mr. Chamberlain's successor at the Colonial 
Office. On the 20th of the same month (April 1905) 
Mr. Lyttelton addressed a circular despatch to the 
Governments of the self-governing Colonies. It began 
with a brief review of the history of the Conference, 
calling attention, inter alia, to Mr. Chamberlain's 
statement 1 in 1897 that the British Government 
would gladly participate in a joint inquiry into the 
question of Preferential Trade. After citing the 
Resolution of 1902 in favour of quadrennial meetings, 
Mr. Lyttelton proceeded : 

1 Vol. i. p. 32 li. 



THE RKCI-NS. 190a-l<><)7 11 

"11. It will be observed that these Conferences in,, 
have, step by step, assumed a more definite shape 
and acquired a more continuous status. Their con- 
stitution has lost the vagueness which characterised 
the assembly of 1887. The Conferences now consist 
of the Prime Ministers of the self-governing Colonies, 
together with the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
assisted, when the subject of the discussion makes this 
advantageous, by other high officials of the United 
Kingdom and the Colonies. 

"12. Again, the first three 1 Conferences met in 
connection with the presence of the Colonial repre- 
sentatives in London incidental to important Imperial 
celebrations. But by the Resolution passed at the 
last Conference, and already quoted, future meetings 
will be at prescribed intervals, and will be solely for 
the transaction of business. It may therefore be said 
that an Imperial Council for the discussion of matters 
which concern alike the United Kingdom and the 
self-governing Colonies has grown into existence by a 
natural process. In the opinion of His Majesty's 
Government it might be well to discard the title of 
' Colonial Conferences,' which imperfectly expresses the 
facts, and to speak of these meetings in future as meet- 
ings of the ' Imperial Council.' They desire, without 
pressing it, to make this suggestion for the consideration 
of the Colonial Governments. 

"13. The Secretary of State for the Colonies would 
represent His Majesty's Government. India, whenever 
her interests required it, would also be represented. 
The other members of the Council would be the Prime 
Ministers of the Colonies represented at the Conference 
of 1902, or, if any Prime Ministers should be unable 
to attend, representatives appointed for that purpose 
by their Governments. 

"The permanent body of the Imperial Council 
would be thus formed, but, as in 1902, their con- 
sultations could be assisted, when necessary for 

1 By a curious oversight the session at Ottawa in 1894 has generally been 
ignored. 



12 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

special purposes, by other Ministers belonging either 
to the Imperial or to the Colonial Governments. 

" 14. Upon those points His Majesty's Government 
would be glad to have the opinion of the Colonial 
Governments. It would probably be desirable that the 
future composition of the Imperial Council should be 
one of the subjects for discussion at the approach- 
ing ordinary Conference to be held in the summer 
of 1906. 

" 15. His Majesty's Government doubt whether it 
would be wise or necessary to give by any instrument 
to this Council a more formal character, to define more 
closely its constitution, or to attempt to delimit its 
functions. The history of Anglo-Saxon institutions, 
such as Parliament or the Cabinet system, seems to 
show that an institution may often be wisely left to 
develop in accordance with circumstances and, as it 
were, of its own accord, and that it is well not to 
sacrifice elasticity of power of adaptation to premature 
definiteness of form. There is every reason for con- 
fidence that the meetings of the Imperial Council (if 
this name prove to be acceptable to the Colonial 
Governments) will promote unity both in sentiment 
and action of the States which, together with the 
Crown Colonies and Dependencies, constitute the 
British Empire, and it may be said, without exaggera- 
tion, that upon this unity the peace and welfare of a 
large part of the world depend." (Cd. 2785, pp. 3-4.) 

with The Government desired to make a further sugges- 

a ' n commis- tion to which they attached " considerable importance." 
It was obvious that the Colonial Premiers, when they 
came to London for these meetings, could not remain 
there long owing to their important duties at home. 
It was desirable, therefore, that subjects which they 
might agree to discuss should be prepared beforehand 
by a representative body and be presented to them 
"in as concise and clear a form and with as much 
material for forming a judgment as possible." In 



sion. 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 13 

questions of defence this work was being done already 
by the Committee of Imperial Defence, on which the 
presence " from time to time " of Colonial representa- 
tives was desired. The present proposal related, how- 
ever, to questions " of a civil character." Another 
advantage in having a permanent body would be that 
the Imperial Council could at their meetings refer 
questions for " subsequent examination and report." 
There was the question of Preferential Trade which 
had been raised in 1897 ; and more recent examples 
might be found in other subjects discussed in 1902, 
such as shipping laws, mail services, patents, and 
metric measures. Under existing conditions inquiry 
into such matters had to be left to the individual 
enterprise and discretion of the several Governments. 
The existence of a " permanent Commission " would 
have " greatly conduced to acceleration of business and 
to the utility of the work done by the Conference." 
In regard to various matters it was desirable to " har- 
monise as far as possible the legislation " of the Empire. 
One expedient for this purpose had been ad hoc con- 
ferences ; but it had involved much correspondence 
and loss of time. The despatch proceeded : 

"23. Both in the United Kingdom, and in the 
Colonies, when questions arise in regard to which 
Governments and Parliaments require more light and 
knowledge before taking action, it is usual to appoint 
Royal Commissions or Departmental Committees to 
inquire into the subject and to suggest solutions. His 
Majesty's Government desire to submit for considera- 
tion the proposal that His Majesty should be advised 
to appoint a Commission of a more permanent kind to 
discharge the same functions in regard to questions of 
joint concern. The Commission would only act upon 
references made by either the Imperial Council, at 
their meetings, or, at any time, by His Majesty's 
Government together with one or more of the Colonial 



14 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Governments. Its functions would be of a purely 
consultative and advisory character, and would not 
supersede but supplement those of the Colonial Office. 
The Commission might be constituted at first for a 
term of years, and then, if it were found to be useful 
and successful, it could be renewed. The Commission 
would, it is proposed, consist of a permanent nucleus 
of members nominated, in a certain proportion, by His 
Majesty's Government and the Colonial Governments, 
but there should be power to the Commission to obtain 
the appointment of additional members, when necessary, 
for the purpose of making special inquiries. The 
persons appointed by the several Governments to be 
permanent members of the Commission would no 
doubt be men of business or of official experience, and 
their remuneration would rest with the Governments 
which they respectively represented. 

"24. The Commission should have an office in 
London, as the most convenient centre, and an adequate 
secretarial staff, the cost of which His Majesty's 
Government would be willing to defray. It would 
probably be convenient that the Secretary of the 
Commission should also act as Secretary to the Im- 
perial Council when it met. He would be responsible 
for keeping all records both of the Council and of the 
Commission. 

" 25. If His Majesty's Government find that there 
is sufficient primd facie agreement on the part of the 
Colonial Governments they will cause a more definite 
scheme for the constitution of the Commission to be 
prepared and forwarded to the Colonial Governments 
for their observations." (Cd. 2785, pp. 4-5.) 

Canada The response to this despatch need not have been 

unfavour- * m * 

able to regarded as discouraging but for the fact that Canada, 

-Ly ttGlton m ^^^ i T T 

proposals, the most important of the Colonial group, and tra- 
ditionally their leader in the Imperial movement, 
evinced a profound distrust of the proposals. With 
the exception of Newfoundland, the other Colonial 
Governments were generally favourable. The same 



THK RECESS, 1902-1907 15 

di vision, between British North America and the 
rest, may be conjectured to have confronted 
Mr. Chamberlain when he suggested an advisory 
council to the Conferences over which he presided. 
But there was a significant contrast between the 
respective objections of the two dissentient Govern- 
ments, those of the big Dominion and the little 
island Colony which together make up British North 
America. 

The Canadian Government appeared to be con- 
cerned only for the principle of national autonomy, im, and 
Doubtless they were anxious politically to win back l 
the confidence of their supporters in Quebec, whom 
they had alienated by consenting to assist in destroy- 
ing by force the independence of the Boer republics. 
The sentiment of Quebec, which was still the most 
solid influence in federal politics, was neither Imperial 
nor national, but provincial and tribal. To the aggres- 
sive racialism of the British or Anglo-Saxons, with 
their continual flaunting of the " crimson thread " or 
" blood thicker than water," the French in Canada 
(like the Dutch in South Africa) very naturally replied 
by asserting a counter racialism of their own. In so 
far as the racial sentiment of the French-Canadians 
and Boers is in each case provincial segregating the 
race in Quebec and South Africa respectively instead 
of embracing, like the Anglo-Saxon variety, all sections 
of the race in all the continents it is accurately 
described as "tribalism" rather than "racialism." 
At any rate it should not be termed " nationalism," 
which in modern times has come to denote a territorial 
rather than a blood patriotism, idealising the " father- 
land " of the " native-born," irrespective of tribal 
varieties in the indigenous population. On the 
assumption that progress in civilisation implies a 
gradual subordination of tribal jealousies to a more 



16 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

enlightened conception of human brotherhood, it 
seems eminently desirable that the term " national- 
ism " should be reserved for the territorial and non- 
racial type of patriotism, and should be denied to 
those Irish, French-Canadian, Boer, or Balkan poli- 
ticians who seek to revive its obsolescent sense, which 
is synonymous with tribalism. Canada continues to 
illustrate these various aspects of patriotic instinct. 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Government, representing a pan- 
Canadian territorial nationalism, were confronted on 
the one hand with the reality of French-Canadian 
tribalism in Quebec an instinct which dislikes the 
self-assertiveness of the federal Dominion hardly less 
than the idea of closer Imperial union and, on the 
other hand, with the bogey of a British-blood Imperial- 
ism, which would deliberately sacrifice the Dominion 
to the Empire, belittling that territorial instinct which 
has formed the mainspring of modern Canadian de- 
velopment and is indispensable to the success of the 
effort to create a second nation alongside the United 
States in North America. This anti-national Imperial- 
ism is here described as a bogey because, in truth, it 
does not exist. Those who apprehensively refer to it 
would generally name, for example, Colonel G. T. 
Denison as its typical representative. But any Eng- 
lishman reading Colonel Denison's book, The Struggle 
for Imperial * Unity, cannot fail to be struck by this 
native - born Canadian's manifestly spontaneous and 
sincere devotion to the Dominion as the national 
entity which has the first claim on his devotion, 
though accompanied with an equally deep conviction 
that there can be no assured hope of preserving the 
political integrity of the country or the most cherished 
ideals of the Canadian people (including the privileges 
of Quebec) except under the British flag and in a closer 
union of the Empire. 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 17 

Both as a Canadian nationalist, with ideas formed sir Wilfrid 
in ;i period of constitutional emancipation preliminary attitude, 
to constructive work, and as a politician concerned to 
retain the confidence of tribalist Quebec, Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier was predisposed to look with suspicion on the 
Colonial Secretary's suggestions. It is true that 
Mr. Lyttelton had carefully refrained from actually 
suggesting any change in the constitution 1 of the 
Conference. But why should he have said that the 
mime "Conference" "imperfectly expresses the facts?" 
To many it seemed that " Conference " did perfectly 
express the facts, and should therefore be retained 
until the facts were changed. The most essential 
fact was that the Conference consisted solely of the 
Governments themselves. Its authority was their 
collective authority ; its functions were limited by 
their functions. " Council " would not equally express 
that fact, but would rather imply a body external to 
the Governments, individually and collectively, even if 
it comprised Ministers or were restricted to their own 
nominees. Nor could any observer fail to associate 
the despatch with the scheme so recently propounded 
by Sir Frederick Pollock, in which the proposed 
change of title anticipated the conversion of the Con- 
ference into an advisory council, or with Mr. Chamber- 
lain's earlier proposal which contemplated an eventual 
endowment of the Advisory Council with executive and 
possibly legislative powers of its own. In Canada the 
official designation of the Cabinet is " the Committee 
of the Honourable the Privy Council." Sir Frederick 
Pollock's suggestion that the new Imperial Council 
should technically be a committee of the Privy 
Council might, therefore, have been held at Ottawa 

1 The only appearance of a suggested change was Mr. Lyttelton's allusion 
to the possibility of India being separately represented instead of through 
the suzerain Government. But, if this suggestion can be detected, it was 
probably made inadvertently, 

VOL. II 



18 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

to indicate an intention to develop the Council into 
a federal Cabinet of the Empire. It is even possible 
that Mr. Lyttelton's careful insistence upon the ad- 
visability of avoiding any formal definition of the 
proposed council's powers, so as to preserve the 
opportunity for spontaneous development, may have 
excited the very apprehensions which it was intended 
to allay. With these preliminary observations it may 
be easier to understand how the Canadian Govern- 
ment came to adopt an attitude so different from that 
of the other nationalist Dominion, the Commonwealth 
of Australia, where territorial patriotism was undis- 
turbed by any tribalist factor and was strengthened 
rather than weakened by the British racial instinct. 
From Ottawa " the Committee of the Honourable the 
Privy Council " wrote : 

The " The Committee at the outset are disposed to 

n consider that any change in the title or status of the 

Colonial Conference should rather originate with and 
emanate from that body itself. At the same time, 
being fully alive to the desire of His Majesty's 
Government to draw closer the ties uniting the 
Colonies with each other and with the Motherland, 
they are prepared to give the proposals referred to 
their respectful consideration, and having done so, 
beg leave to offer the following observations : 

"Your Excellency's advisers are entirely at one with 
His Majesty's Government in believing that political 
institutions ' may often be wisely left to develop in 
accordance with circumstances and, as it were, of 
their own accord,' and it is for this reason that they 
entertain with some doubt the proposal to change the 
name of the Colonial Conference to that of the Im- 
perial Council, which they apprehend would be inter- 
preted as marking a step distinctly in advance of 
the position hitherto attained in the discussion of 
the relations between the Mother Country and the 
Colonies. As the Committee understand the phrase, 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 10 

a Conference is a more or less unconventional gather- 
ing for informal discussion of public questions, con- 
tinued, it may be, from time to time, as circumstances 
external to itself may render expedient, but possessing 
no faculty or power of binding action. The assembly 
of Colonial Ministers which met in 1887, 1897, and 
1902 appear to the Committee to fulfil these con- 
ditions. The term Council, on the other hand, 
indicates, in the view of your Excellency's Ministers, 
a more formal assembly, possessing an advisory and 
deliberative character, and in conjunction with the 
word ' Imperial,' suggesting a permanent institution 
which, endowed with a continuous life, might eventu- 
ally come to be regarded as an encroachment upon 
the full measure of autonomous legislative and ad- 
ministrative power, now enjoyed by all the self- 
governing Colonies. 

" The Committee, while not wishing to be under- 
stood as advocating any such change at the present 
time, incline to the opinion that the title ' Imperial 
Conference ' might be less open to the objections 
they have indicated than the designation proposed 
by His Majesty's Government. 

"As regards the second suggestion of His 
Majesty's Government, the Committee are sensible 
that such a Commission would greatly facilitate the 
work of the Conference, and at the same time enhance 
the dignity and importance of that assembly. They 
cannot, however, wholly divest themselves of the idea 
that such a Commission might conceivably interfere 
with the working of responsible government. While 
for this reason the Committee would not at present 
be prepared to adopt the proposal for the appoint- 
ment of a permanent Commission, they feel that such 
a proposal emanating from His Majesty's Government 
should be very fully inquired into, and the Canadian 
representatives at the next Conference, whenever it 
may be held, would be ready to join the representa- 
tives of the sister Colonies in giving the whole matter 
their most careful consideration." (Cd. 2785, p. 14.) 



20 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Possibly the nervousness apparent in the tone 
of this despatch was partly a matter of ministerial 
temperament as well as of political environment. 
As the coming Conference was to show, the other 
Premiers were not less determined than Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier to preserve the essentials of autonomy. But 
they were too confident in their own power of con- 
trolling the situation, as occasion might arise, to feel 
disposed to " turn down " in advance suggestions 
which, whatever might be the ulterior idea of those 
who had put them forward, were in themselves not 
only innocent but attractive from the standpoint of 
the existing Conference, denoting an Imperial alliance. 
Newfound- The objection of Newfoundland was expressed 
objection, very differently from that of Canada. It represented 
the old Colonial attitude, traces of which survive 
in the larger Dominions, but which is gradually dis- 
appearing as they grow into nations, and which can 
no longer be evinced by their responsible Ministers 
without arousing protest. Sir Robert Bond wrote in 
reply to Mr. Lyttelton : 

"Is it to be merely an advisory Council, or 
a Council with executive functions or legislative 
powers ? In either case it implies a voice in the 
policy of the Empire, and that privilege would neces- 
sarily carry with it corresponding responsibilities and 
obligations to be assumed by the Colonies represented 
in that Council. Such being the case, while all the 
Colonies will doubtless be at one in respect to the 
wisdom and correctness of the principle, and would 
doubtless desire to aid in its adoption, there are some 
struggling communities and this Colony is one of 
them whose revenues are required for public benefit, 
and for increasing the capabilities of the country in 
which we live; and any direct contribution towards 
Imperial defence, or any trade preference, would be 
practically impossible. If an Imperial Council were 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 21 

il>lished, as Mr. Chamberlain pointed out in his 
opening address to the Colonial Conference in 1902, 
these are the two subjects which would immediately 
call for its attention." (Ibid., pp. 10-11.) 

Accordingly the Newfoundland Government were sir Robert 
i n favour of maintaining the Conference on the old American 
lines. But, as in the case of Canada, some knowledge 1>o1 
of the contemporary local conditions is necessary to an 
understanding of the ministerial attitude. Though 
Sir Robert Bond appears in his despatch to exclude 
measures of defence from the category of " public 
benefit," he had in fact assented, at the Conference of 
1902, to a scheme for enabling the hardy fishermen 
of the Colony to enrol and receive training in the 
Royal Naval Reserve, partly at the expense of 
Colonial funds. It seems probable that the appre- 
hension he expressed in regard to " responsibilities 
and obligations " had closer reference to "trade pre- 
ference " than to defence. For, at that moment he 
was busy planning a fishery campaign against the 
United States, in hopes of forcing the American 
Senate to revive and ratify a trade convention, 
negotiated by himself with the late Mr. Hay, under 
which the Colony, in return for free admission of its 
fish into the American market, would remove the 
import duties on certain American manufactures and 
would pledge itself not to give preference to any 
country other than the United States. 1 To New- 
foundland, until Mr. Chamberlain went to the Colonial 

J Article IV. of the Hay-Bond Convention (Nov. 1902) enumerated a 
number of articles which were to be free of duty in Newfoundland when 
imported from the United States. The list included agricultural implements , 
cranes, crushing mills and mining machinery, brick machines, explosives, 
cotton yarn, sundry oils, hemp and jute, Indian corn, cattle-feeding cakes, 
fertilisers, fishing lines and twines, patent gas engines, engravers' and printers' 
appliances and supplies, salt for fisheries. Maximum rates of duty were also 
specified in regard to the following, when imported from the United States : 
Hour, pork, bacon and hams, beef, Indian meal, peas, oatmeal, rice, kerosene 



22 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Office, the Imperial tie had meant nothing but con- 
tinual neglect and economic starvation. The French 
and Americans had in turn been allowed to assert 
preposterous treaty rights, preventing the Colony 
from making the best of its limited resources. Small 
wonder, then, if its Government had at length set 
their heart upon access, at all costs, to the American 
market ; without caring to consider what might be 
the political tendency of the fiscal bondage on which 
Washington insisted, but which hitherto had proved 
insufficient to placate the Senate. 

With the episode of the Lyttelton despatch the 

Pollock in campaign in behalf of an Imperial advisory council 
came to an end. Between the issue of the despatch 
in April and the publication of the correspondence in 
November (1905) Sir Frederick Pollock visited Canada 
in the interests of his committee's scheme. Probably 
he returned with a fuller appreciation of the difficulties 
which had been encountered by Mr. Chamberlain, and 
which had ultimately convinced that statesman that 
the policy of Imperial .Reciprocity was in practice 
the only alternative to drifting apart. Even among 
strenuous Imperialists in Canada the advisory-council 
scheme was received with scant favour. It was sus- 
pected by them of being an attempt to " side-track" 
the trade policy which they had long since come to 
regard as the essential basis of closer union. 

Further Nevertheless Sir Frederick Pollock and his friends 



efforts of 
his com- 
mittee. 



oil. Article V. read : " It is understood that if any reduction is made by the 
Colony of Newfoundland at any time during the term of this Convention, in 
any rate of duty upon the articles named in Article IV. of this Convention, 
coming from any other country, the said reduction shall apply to the United 
States, and that no heavier duties shall be imposed on articles coming from the 
United States than is imposed on such articles coming from elsewhere." (Cd. 3262, 
Newfoundland Fisheries, p. 52.) It will be observed that by these clauses the 
possibility of giving preference to Britain or Canada was greatly curtailed, if 
not entirely precluded, the category " articles coming from the United States " 
not being specifically restricted to articles specified in the foregoing lists. 



Till-: UKCESS, 1902-1907 23 

persevered in the attempt to devise a more effective 
system of Imperial organisation than was supplied 
by the primitive Conference. After the publication 
of the Lyttelton correspondence, and before the 
next session of the Conference, several manifestoes 
appeared. Among the signatories were Lord Milner, 
Lord Tennyson, Mr. W. P. Reeves, Mr. J. G. Colmer, 
and Mr. B. R. Wise. As usually happens in such 
cases, the documents bore traces of an attempt to 
find verbal forms capable of being subscribed by 
men of widely divergent opinions ; with a consequent 
appearance of ambiguity in the proposals themselves. 
But the general tendency obviously was to drop the 
advisory council and to concentrate on the problem of 
how to endow the Conference in its existing form with 
some kind of " continuity," so as to render its work 
more effective. Out of the original idea of an " in- 
telligence office," and of Mr. Lyttelton's cognate 
" Commission," emerged the conception of creating 
a "secretariat" for the Conference, the staff to be The 
nominated by the several Governments. Public dis- tarSt" 
cussion ensued mainly on the question of whether the P ' 
Secretariat should be under the direction of a Minister 
of the United Kingdom ; or should be on the model of 
the Conference itself, in the sense of acting only on 
the instructions of the Governments collectively, each 
of which would have a representative responsible to it 
alone. The question of principle at stake was whether 
or not there should be an equality of status of all the 
Governments composing the Conference, superseding 
the old principle of subordinating the Colonial Govern- 
ments to that of Britain. Those who had faith in the 
idea of Imperial alliance desired equality of status as 
its logical expression. Those, on the other hand, who 
feared that alliance might only be an euphemism for 
separation were not eager to give that principle a 



24 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

wider recognition than might practically be necessary. 
Much was to be heard of this question when the 
Conference met. In the meantime Sir Frederick 
Pollock's labours had already achieved valuable re- 
sults. They not only had vindicated, by their 
partial failure, the soundness of Mr. Chamber- 
lain's conclusion that Imperial Reciprocity should 
come first, but had also succeeded to the extent of 
directing attention to deficiencies in the organisation 
of the Conference which admitted of being remedied 
without impairing its essential character. At the 
same time the work of this committee had the eifect 
of emphasising the divergence between two schools of 
Imperialists ; the one laying stress on machinery and 
formal bonds of union ; the other insisting on the 
greater importance of "doing things together" (as 
Lord Milner phrases it l ), in the belief that the actual 
process of unorganised co-operation in such matters as 
Preferential Trade would not only create a motive 
now lacking for contrivances of political union, but 
would indicate, by the experience of practical needs, 
the most appropriate methods. 

Conference At the end of November 1905, Mr. Lyttelton 
to Vic?! 6 was unfortunately obliged to issue another circular 
despatch, proposing to " take advantage of the latitude 
allowed by the terms of the Resolution" of 1902 and 
postpone the Conference to 1907. It had transpired 
that the Prime Ministers of Australia and New 
Zealand would be unable to attend in 1906 later than 
the spring, which would not suit the other Govern- 
ments. In June of that year the Commonwealth 
Parliament would be sitting, with the prospect of 
a general election immediately afterwards ; while 
political affairs in New Zealand would require that 
her representative should leave London not later than 

1 At Toronto, Oct. 27, 1908. 



TIIK RECESS, 1902-1907 !tf 

tin- IM 'ginning of May. At this stage in the nego- 
tiations the resignation of the Balfour Government, 
followed by the sweeping electoral victory of the 
Liberals, under Sir Henry Campbell- Ban nerman, 
broke off Mr. Lyttelton's ministerial career. He was 
succeeded at the Colonial Office by the Earl of Elgin, Lord Elgin 
a weak and unimaginative administrator. Replies secretary, 
assenting to the postponement of the Conference 
having been received from all the Colonial Govern- 
ments, the new Colonial Secretary addressed them in 
a despatch (February 22, 1906) proposing that the 
session should be held in March 1907, and requesting 
them (as in 1902) to send him, not later than Sep- 
tember 1st, statements as to any subjects for discussion 
or any resolutions they might desire to submit to 
the Conference. At the same time he proposed to 
acquaint them " in due course " with the subjects the 
British Government might wish to bring forward. 

There is an interesting and possibly not accidental 
contrast between the concluding paragraphs of the 
last despatch addressed to the Colonial Governments 
by the Unionist Secretary of State respecting the 
coming Conference, and the first addressed to them 
by his Liberal successor : 

"Mr. Lyttelton They (H.M. "Lord Elgin His Majesty's 

Government) confidently hope Government feel every confidence 

that, following upon the lines of that the next Conference, like 

previous Conferences, the next Con- those which have preceded it, will 

ference will, in this (the matter help to increase the good under- 

lately discussed) and in other no standing and cordial feeling which 

less important ways, promote the exist between the Governments of 

better union and the collective pro- the various self-governing commu- 

sperity of the British Empire." nities of the Empire." (Cd. 2975, 

(Cd. 3406, p. 15.) p. 4.) 

An important change had indeed taken place in Attitude 



i if Ili-W 



Downing Street. The department of the Colonial Liberal 
Office was being relegated to the secondary position 



Govern- 



26 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

which it had occupied before Mr. Chamberlain took 
it over. The portfolio was again to be one with 
which any one might be entrusted as long as he could 
be relied upon not to try to do things. With all 
their blundering the Unionists had been sincerely 
desirous of promoting a closer union of the Empire, 
believing that policy to be necessary to the future 
safety and welfare of the nation. But the Liberals 
came into office with a different creed, which was 
equally real to the majority of the party. Repudi- 
ating the theory that the peace and progress of the 
world depend on an international balance of fighting 
power, arising out of a perpetual conflict of national 
interests or aims, they intended to vindicate once for 
all the old Liberal policy of " retrenchment and 
reform" by arranging at least a cessation of com- 
petition in armaments if not an immediate commence- 
ment of disarmament. In their view this policy was 
a desirable alternative to that of closer Imperial 
union. It would equally secure the independence of 
the British Islands but without antagonising any 
other country either commercially or by increase of 
armaments, and without demanding any sacrifice from 
the democracy in either money or enjoyment. On 
the contrary, the economy to be effected by dis- 
armament would set free an enormous revenue for 
lightening the burdens which Free Trade had imposed 
by direct taxation on the rich, and for distributing 
doles to the poor under any crude scheme to which 
the label " social reform " could plausibly be attached. 
A reign of phrase-makers had begun ; gushing protes- 
tations of what Mr. Seddon used to call " humanity " 
disguising a lack of inclination for the ever tedious 
work of constructive statesmanship. The anti-Im- 
perialist phase of the new regime may be said to 
have continued intact only until the ludicrous fiasco 



nil- m-irr.ss, 11)02-1907 t>7 

of the disarmament overtures to Germany started 
the process of reluctant disillusionment. 1 By the 
spring of 1909 it had proceeded so far that the 
spectacle was witnessed of the Liberal Government 
summoning a Defence conference of the Empire, 
signifying acceptance of the formerly derided Im- 
prri.-ilist idea. For the time being, however, cosmo- 
politanism reigned supreme in Downing Street. Lord 
Elgin announced in this first despatch that he did 
not feel himself " called upon to adopt the recom- 
mendation" of his predecessor's proposals regarding 
the future organisation of the Conference. At the invitation 
same time he thought it desirable, in view of the subject*! 
expressions of opinion already received from the 
Colonial Governments, " that the scheme should be 
freely discussed when the Conference meets." But 
the general attitude of the new Government, as 
tacitly intimated by the new Secretary of State, 
was that they desired only to be left alone, and 
not harassed with profane attacks upon the sanctity 
of Free Trade, or the disturbing creed of making the 
Empire strong enough to hold its own. As indicating 
how the change of Government was received over- 
seas, it may be mentioned that Mr. Seddon cabled 
an inquiry as to whether fiscal proposals would be 
admitted for discussion. The reply was affirmative. 2 

In response to Lord Elgin's invitation a large 
number of advance resolutions were received from 
Australia, New Zealand, and Cape Colony. All of 
those Governments happened to be under Imperialist 
direction. Mr. Deakin, who had been present at 
the birth of the Conference in 1887, and had more 
recently assisted by his liberal ideas and eloquence 

1 Unfortunately it has become necessary to correct this too sanguine deduc- 
tion, in a postscript to the Introduction of the present work. 
1 Cd. 2975, p. 4. 



28 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

the birth of the Commonwealth, was now at the 
head of the Australian Government, though lacking 
an independent majority. In New Zealand Sir Joseph 
Ward carried on Mr. Seddon's Imperialist tradition 
with a quiet sincerity. Dr. Jameson was presiding 
over Cape Colony, though the pendulum was plainly 
swinging back to the allies of the Afrikander parties 
into whose hands the imposition of responsible govern- 
ment was about to restore the Transvaal and the 
The Orange River Colony. Of the fourteen resolutions 
resolutions, sent in by the Australian Commonwealth the following 
have acquired sufficient importance to be cited in full : 

I. IMPERIAL COUNCIL 

" That it is desirable to establish an Imperial Council, 
to consist of representatives of Great Britain and the self- 
governing Colonies, chosen ex officio from their existing 
ad ministrations. 

" That the objects of such Council shall be to discuss 
at regular Conferences matters of common Imperial interest, 
and to establish, a system by which members of the Council 
shall be kept informed during the periods between the 
Conferences in regard to matters which have been or may 
be subjects for discussion. 

" That there shall be a permanent secretarial staff 
charged with the duty of obtaining information for the 
use of the Council, of attending to the execution of its 
resolutions, and of conducting correspondence on matters 
relating to its affairs. 

"That the expenses of such a staff shall be borne by 
the countries represented on the Council in proportion to 
their populations." 

II. PREFERENTIAL TRADE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 

" That the following resolutions which were adopted by 
the Conference of 1902 be re-affirmed : 

" 1. That this Conference recognises that the prin- 
ciple of preferential trade between the United Kingdom 



TIM-: Kl . 1902-1907 i*) 

and His Majesty's dominions beyond the seas would 
stimulate and facilitate mutual commercial intercourse, 
and would, by promoting the development of the re- 
sources and industries of the several parts, strengthen 
the Empire. 

" 2. That this Conference recognises that, in the 
present circumstances of the Colonies, it is not prac- 
ticable to adopt a general system of Free Trade as 
between the Mother Country and the British Dominions 
beyond the seas. 

" 3. That with a view, however, to promoting the 
increase of trade within the Empire, it is desirable 
that those Colonies which have not already adopted 
such a policy should, as far as their circumstances 
permit, give substantial preferential treatment to the 
products and manufactures of the United Kingdom." 

That the following resolutions be added : 

" That it is desirable that the preferential treatment 
accorded by the Colonies to the products and manufactures 
of the United Kingdom be also granted to the products and 
manufactures of other self-governing Colonies. 

" That it is desirable that the United Kingdom grant 
preferential treatment to the products and manufactures of 
the Colonies." * 

IV. IMPERIAL DEFENCE 

" That the provisions of the Naval Defence Agreement, 
1902, be reconsidered. 



VI. ORGANISATION OF COLONIAL OFFICE 

" That the Secretary of State for the Colonies be invited 
to frame a scheme which will create opportunities for 
members of the permanent staff of the Colonial Office 
to acquire more ultimate knowledge of the circumstances 
and conditions of the Colonies with whoso business they 

1 This differs from the 4th section of the resolution of 1902 in not speci- 
fying the manner in which the preferential treatment should be granted by 
the United Kingdom. 



30 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

have to deal, whether by appointments, temporary inter- 
changes, or periodical visits of officers, or similar means." 
(Cd. 3337, pp. 6-7.) 

The fourth resolution further affirmed the desir- 
ability of having Colonial representatives on the 
Committee of Imperial Defence and of giving Colonial 
Governments a right of access thereto for advice. In 
point of fact the Canadian Minister of Defence, Sir 
Frederick Borden, had already been invited to sit on 
it, probably in order to discuss the proposals which the 
Dominion Government had put forward in substitu- 
tion of those prepared by the War Office and Admir- 
alty in 1902. 1 The other Australian resolutions were 
in favour of re- affirming the resolution passed in 1902 
about Merchant Shipping and Coastwise Trade, and 
of asking the British Government to secure the 
revision of any commercial treaties hampering Pre- 
ference ; reducing the stamp charges in Britain on 
Colonial bonds ; strengthening British interests in 
the Pacific in view of the " probable " completion 
of the Panama Canal ; diverting British emigration 
from foreign to British countries, through co-opera- 
tion between the British and Colonial Governments ; 
appointing a Royal Commission to consider the 
question of establishing decimal coinage throughout 
the Empire ; considering again the resolution of 
1902 about the adoption of the metrical system of 
weights and measures, with a view to uniform action ; 
standardising the Patent laws throughout the Empire 
and arranging that a patent taken out in any country 
should be valid in the others ; and investigating the 
possibility of making the effect of commercial treaties 
uniform throughout the Empire. 

The ten resolutions from New Zealand were in 

1 Cf. infra, Ch. XII. 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 31 

favour of " an Imperial Council " to which each New 

~ , , , , Zealand'* 

"self-governing Colony would send a representa- resolution*. 
tive"; preference for British manufactures carried in 
British bottoms, and remission of the British import 
duties on Colonial products then taxed ; reciprocal 
admission of barristers, and land surveyors, to prac- 
tice ; an Imperial naturalisation law, subject to the 
right of any self-governing Colony to impose special 
conditions ; the right of New Zealand and Australia 
to be consulted in regard to any proposed treaty 
affecting the Pacific Islands ; uniform usage and less 
restrictive rules in regard to the reservation of Bills 
for the Royal Assent ; removal of all doubts, arising 
from foreign treaties, as to the right of the self- 
governing Colonies " to make reciprocal and pre- 
ferential fiscal arrangements with each other and 
with the United Kingdom"; and international Penny 
Postage. As to Defence, the Colony took the opposite 
line to the Commonwealth, proposing that the question 
should be considered of an " increased contribution " 
by the two Governments to the Australian squadron. 

With the memory of the war still fresh Cape 
Colony led off with a resolution much on the lines re 

/ 

of the War Office proposal which the Cape repre- 
sentatives had approved in 1902, subject to the proviso 
that a condition of any such arrangement would have 
to be some representation of the Colonies on "an Im- 
perial Council." Another proposal, partly duplicating 
Mr. Deakin's, was that the Preference resolutions of 
1902 should be re-affirmed. Further, it was to be 
impressed upon the British Government that the 
maintenance of the British Preference in the Colonial 
tariffs was " largely dependent upon the granting of 
some reciprocal privileges to British Colonies." The 
caution thus conveyed may be attributed to the 
circumstance that the South African Party, practi- 



tioiis. 



32 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

cally the Bond, who were then in Opposition, had 
been attacking the preference already established in 
the tariff of the Customs Union (which preceded 
political union by several years). It may be 
noted that this has been the only instance of an 
avowedly protectionist party not being willing that 
National Protection should be modified by Imperial 
Preference. Further resolutions from Cape Colony 
suggested the abolition of double income-tax (where 
company profits are taxed in both the Colony and 
Britain) ; the advantage of having alternative routes 
for cables and controlling expense by means of the 
"standard revenue" device; 1 simplification and uni- 
formity of procedure in regard to Privy Council 
appeals ; uniformity in regard to merchandise marks 
and patents. The Colony was directly interested in 
the Royal Commission then sitting to inquire about 
shipping rebates, and suggested that its scope should 
be enlarged so as to cover the questions of controlling 
combines, subsidising lines affected by foreign subsidies, 
and limiting British trade to British bottoms. 
The No resolutions were forthcoming from Natal, New- 

response, foundland, or Canada. The Dominion, nevertheless, 
occupies some space in the published correspondence. 
The Canadian Government continued to display more 
interest in the conditions under which the Conference 
would meet than in the question of business to be 
transacted. Replying in July 1906 to the Colonial 
Secretary's despatch fixing April 15th as the date of 
meeting in the following year, Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
objected that Parliament might not have risen at 
Ottawa by that date (a permanent change having 
lately been made in regard to the period of the legis- 
lative session), and suggested that the Conference 
should be postponed for a month. He would not press 

1 i.e. the system already in force in South Africa. Cf . supra, vol. i. p. 256. 



THK KKCKSS, 1902-1907 33 

tin- suggestion against the convenience of the other 
(Invi-nimrnts; but he intimated that adherence to 
the original date might prevent the attendance of 
Canadian representatives. He desired, further, to 
call the attention of the Colonial Secretary to the form 
in which the invitation for these Conferences had 
hitherto been made to the Governments concerned : 

" Such invitation has been extended to the Prime Question 
Ministers only. Experience has shown that, having tionai ' 
regard to the wide range of subjects which are con- Minister8 - 
sidered at the Conference, the Prime Ministers of the 
larger Colonies are unwilling to assume the respon- 
sibility of dealing with such questions without the 
assistance of some of their colleagues. Practically, 
therefore, the Conference becomes not one of Prime 
Ministers, but one of Ministers representing the various 
Colonial Governments. If it be deemed expedient, for 
the reasons above stated, that Ministers other than the 
Prime Minister of any Colony should be present, it 
seems to be desirable that their position in the Con- 
ference should be recognised, and that they should be 
included in the invitation extended by His Majesty's 
Government. The Prime Minister, therefore, suggests 
that the object of His Majesty's Government in calling 
the Conference would be better attained if the Confer- 
ence were declared to be a Conference of Ministers, and 
the invitation expressed in such form as would admit 
of the attendance of any Ministers who might be ac- 
credited by any of the Governments concerned. 

" The Prime Minister, in representing these sugges- 
tions for the consideration of His Majesty's Govern- 
ment, does not desire that the larger Colonies which 
might send a number of representatives should, on 
that account, be placed in any advantageous position 
as regards voting in the Conference. The practice of 
past Conferences has been that whenever a difference 
arises each Colony is entitled to one vote, and the 
Canadian Government would not ask for any change 
in that respect." (Cd. 3340, p. 4.) 

VOL. II C 



34 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Convenient One of the permanent difficulties attending Im- 
diVcuity. perial organisation is, as has been seen already, that of 
fixing a time for the Conference convenient to the six 
Parliaments concerned ; but the seriousness of it must 
vary inversely with the degree of importance assigned 
to the Imperial cause. The difficulty tends to increase 
rather than diminish now that " subsidiary Confer- 
ences " have become a recognised and frequent prac- 
tice. For example, the Subsidiary Conference on 
Defence in 1909 occurred very inconveniently for the 
Australasian Parliaments ; so much so that the Com- 
monwealth had to send a non-Minister representative. 1 
In New Zealand Sir Joseph Ward, who was Defence 
Minister as well as Premier, got away only after some 
friction with his Parliament. 

Additional Replying to the Canadian minute, Lord Elgin 
Ministers: regretted that he could not see his way to changing 
Elgin's the proposed date, which had been decided " after 

VlfiW 

much correspondence and negotiation " as the most 
suitable to all parties. In regard to Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier's second point the Colonial Secretary pro- 
ceeded : 

" I think that in the case of the larger Colonies 
there is a distinct advantage in securing the attend- 
dance on special occasions of other Ministers in addition 
to the Prime Minister, notably the Minister of Defence 
or the Minister in charge of commercial affairs. This 
arrangement was in fact made at the Conference of 
1902, and on the same principle other Ministers of the 
Imperial Government beside the Secretary of State for 
the Colonies have been present at meetings of past 
Conferences when matters affecting their Departments 
were under consideration." (Cd. 3340, p. 5, without the 
italics.) 

1 The constitution of Subsidiary Conferences, unlike that of the Imperial 
Conference itself, does not restrict the representation to Ministers. 



view. 



TIIK KKCKSS, 1902-1907 ;tf 

He added that it did not " appear to be necessary 
t<> make any alteration in the general constitution of 
the Conference." But the Canadian Government were 
not satisfied with the Colonial Secretary's intimation 
that the additional Ministers might attend the Con- 
ference only when their special subjects came up. 
That arrangement did not " meet the point raised " : 

" The Secretary of State for the Colonies refers to On mif 
the arrangements respecting the attendance of such 
Ministers at the Conference of 1902, and assumes 
that they were unobjectionable. The Committee have 
to remark that, although it was not deemed necessary 
at the time to place on record any formal protest 
against them, the arrangements in question were far 
from satisfactory. The Colonial Ministers other than 
Prime Ministers were received only by the courtesy of 
the Conference, and not without objection having been 
taken to what was regarded by some as a departure 
from the basis on which the Conference had been 
organised. It seems desirable, therefore, that, for the 
avoidance of misunderstanding hereafter, the position 
of such Ministers should be properly defined in advance. 

" Provision for the occasional attendance for the 
consideration of special subjects would be reasonable 
in the case of officials of the permanent service, whose 
knowledge and experience might be useful to the 
Conference in the particular matter under discussion. 
Several of the higher officers of the Imperial service 
attended in this way at the Conference of 1902. The 
Committee submit, however, that such restrictions are 
inapplicable to the case of responsible Ministers of the 
Crown who will be called far away from their home 
duties to participate in the deliberations of the Con- 
ference. If the objects of the Conference will be 
advanced by the presence of such Ministers, they 
should only be expected to attend with a recognised 
status which will be consistent with their position as 
responsible Ministers in their respective Colonies." 
(Ibid., p. 11.) 



36 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Confer- Lord Elgin, however, after full consideration, could 

settle its not accede to the Canadian suggestion. It seemed to 
him to raise difficulties which could be only satisfac- 
torily settled " by discussion at the Conference itself." 
It would "involve a change in the constitution of the 
Conference," because the forthcoming meeting was 
being convened in accordance with the Resolution of 
1902 which had specified Conferences " between the 
Secretary of State and the Prime Ministers of the 
self-governing Colonies." In dealing with certain 
Australian demands which will be noticed presently 
the British Government had held that " the Con- 
ference itself must consider and determine whether 
changes are to be made." He continued : 

" I need hardly say that nothing derogatory to 
the position of Colonial Ministers (other than Prime 
Ministers) was implied at the last Conference, or would 
be implied at any future one, by the fact that they 
only participate in discussions on subjects with which 
they are specially concerned. The representatives of 
the India Office and other departments of His Majesty's 
Government attend on a similar footing. But the 
arrangement was one which the Conference treated as 
essentially a matter which it was competent to decide, 
and the Secretary of State, as Chairman, ruled that an 
alteration could not be made unless there was a unani- 
mous feeling in its favour. . . . The proposals of your 
Ministers might well raise questions on such important 
points as the effect on duration of debates, or of the 
sittings of the Conference, by a material increase in its 
members and the relative advantage to be derived 
by Colonies within easy reach of this country and 
those which are more distant." (Ibid., p. 13.) 

But while holding that the British Government 
could not of their own motion, or by correspondence 
with the Colonies, introduce changes of this kind, Lord 
Elgin reminded the Canadian Government that he had 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 37 

;i I ready called attention to the question of the future 
constitution of the Conference, which he thought it 
would be very desirable to discuss at the meeting. 
With this, apparently, the Canadian Government had 
to be content for the present. No further correspon- 
dence has been published. 

The correspondence with Canada spread leisurely ciaim of 
over the summer and autumn of 1906. Meanwhile the stST 1 ' 
Colonial Secretary was being bombarded with a de- ] 
nuind from the State Premiers in Australia that they 
should be admitted, alongside the federal Premier, 
to the Imperial Conference. Their leader was Mr. 
(afterwards Sir Joseph) Carruthers, then Premier of 
New South Wales. The motive of the movement was 
concisely expressed in the heading of a circular which 
he addressed to his " brother " Premiers " Subject : 
' Encroachments upon State Rights by the Govern- 
ment of the Commonwealth.' " l Mr. Carruthers had 
already made his mark as the champion of an anti- 
federal provincialism which appears to have become so 
obnoxious to the people of Australia that they tole- 
rated almost with apathy the introduction by a Labour 
Government some years later of proposals which were 
described by Mr. Deakin 2 as tantamount to wiping out 
the States and shifting the Commonwealth from its 
federal to an unitary basis. The claim of the State 
Premiers, all of whom were drawn into the intrigue, 
was based on the theory that the residue of sovereignty 
which the Commonwealth Act had left to the States 
entitled them to communicate directly with the Im- 
perial Government, and, on the same principle, to be 
invited to the Imperial Conference. Further argu- 
ments were that the Conference might desire to 
discuss certain matters, such as education or land 
settlement, in respect of which the States retained 

1 Cd. 3340, p. 19. 2 Parliamentary Debates, Oct. and Nov. 1910. 



38 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

exclusive authority within their own territories ; and 
that it was necessary to the liberal education of State 
Ministers that they should be brought into the Imperial 
Conference. The very basis of the federation itself, 
which rests on the direct election by practically uni- 
versal suffrage of a national legislative assembly, was 
challenged with the argument that in regard to the 
major subjects assigned to the Commonwealth ex- 
clusively (such as Customs and Defence) the federal 
Government was only a kind of joint agency of the 
State Governments. When Lord Elgin replied that 
it must be for the Conference itself, constituted as 
in 1902, to consider and decide any such change, 
Mr. Carruthers warned him with all the emphasis of 
italics that : 

" The action of the Imperial Government is tending to 
force the States more and more to regard less the ties and 
connections with the Mother Land and more the bonds of 
Federation" (Cd. 3340, p. 14.) 

Unfortunately for the campaign of the State Premiers 
there was no longer in Britain any party whose 
Imperialism followed the maxim divide et impera. 
The rising generation were rapidly forgetting the 
existence of the States. For them Australia and the 
Commonwealth had become interchangeable terms. 
From the British point of view there could be no 
Imperial danger in any tendency, however arising, for 
the Australian people to regard less the traditions of 
the old Colonial era and more the bonds of a federa- 
tion whose Government were conspicuously trying to 
direct the energy of Australian nationalism into the 
movement towards closer union of the Empire. 
Federal In a couple of masterly dispatches Mr. Deakin, 

mentis 1 the federal Premier, pulverised the contentions of 
sm ' the State Premiers as to the constitutional position. 



TIN-: m:ri:ss, MM;* i<)<>7 

The Commonwealth, lie pointed out, derived its 
authority just as directly from the people as the 
State Governments derived theirs. Nearly all the 
subjects hitherto discussed or likely to be dis- 
cussed at the Imperial Conference were subjects now 
within the sphere of the Commonwealth exclusively. 
As to other matters, it was open to the State 
Governments to consult the Imperial Government at 
any time through their Agents- General in London. 
In his first dispatch (October 31, 1906) he ridi- 
culed the idea that the people of Australia would 
be aggrieved by the non-admittance of the State 
Premiers ; and in the second (December 22, 1906) 
he was able to state that a general election had just 
taken place in which there had been no sign of any 
popular interest in the question. Thus backed, Lord 
Elgin had no difficulty in maintaining his refusal. 

From the point of view of the Imperial Confer- The 
ence it is impossible to defend Mr. Carruthers' pro- i 
posal. The resolution of 1897, recommending that 
Colonies geographically united should be federated, 
was passed by the Conference in the interests of 
its own efficiency. It had been specially aimed at 
Australia, owing to the exasperating experience of 
the Pacific cable project, which was delayed for 
years, and ultimately nearly destroyed through the 
inability of the six Australian Colonies to maintain 
any concert. Imperially, the whole object of local 
federation was to eliminate the interprovincial 
jealousy which had so disastrously impeded the 
work of the Conference ; whereas the purpose of 
Mr. Carruthers' proposal was to restore and per- 
petuate it, with the additional aggravation that 
Australia would be seven instead of six. The policy 
of the Conference itself had been to substitute unified 
nation-States for discordant Provinces as the units 



40 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

of Imperial organisation, so as to render the meetings 
more wieldy in size and more harmonious in spirit. 
There has been the further and decisive advantage 
that by basing the Conference on national unities, 
rather than on the various sections composing each 
of them, the dominant patriotism of the time has 
been enlisted on the side of the Imperial move- 
ment. 

The con- In sheltering himself behind the precise terms of 
Mr? ciham- the 1902 resolution Lord Elgin was not only a void- 
handiwork. i n g responsibility in connection with a matter to 
which his Government were then quite indifferent, 
but was taking up an impregnably correct position. 
To resist the Canadian as well as the Australian 
State proposals he had, in fact, taken the same 
ground as the Canadian Ministers themselves in 
their reply to Mr. Lyttelton's suggestions, when 
they asserted the right of the Conference to govern 
itself. In retrospect the main interest of this interim 
correspondence is that it exhibits the Conference, 
hitherto a fluid experiment, rapidly crystallising into 
the recognised governing body of the Empire. The 
1902 resolution, affirming the principle of quadrennial 
meetings on the same basis as on that occasion, is 
now seen to have been decisive in endowing the 
Conference with a self- consciousness which it had 
hitherto lacked, and in gaining for it officially and 
publicly a definite recognition. Henceforth it was 
to develop British-wise, from precedent to precedent. 
To Mr. Chamberlain, therefore, who had enjoyed and 
exercised a free hand * in regard to the composition of 
the meetings in 1897 and in 1902, fell the privilege 
of founding, on his own pattern, the modern con- 

1 The text of the 1897 resolution in favour of " periodical " Conferences 
did not, like the resolution of 1902, define the composition of the Conference 
in precise terms. 



Till: RKCHSS, 1902-11)07 H 

stitution of the British Empire. Whatever may 
li.ive been his idea of the Conference when he re- 
stricted the invitation to Colonial Premiers, he is 
now seen to have stereotyped it by that act as a 
Conference of the fully autonomous Governments of 
the Empire. Wittingly or unwittingly, he had ex- 
cluded the separate representation of India or any 
Crown Colonies ; and had impeded reversion to the 
original plan of the Conference as a kind of Imperial 
Areopagus, which some have been inclined to revive. 
But he had not impeded the extension of the Con- 
ference so as to include other Ministers in addition 
to the Secretary of State and the Colonial Premiers, 
which was sanctioned by the British theory of the 
corporate responsibility of Cabinets. 

Lord Elgin proceeded to frame the agenda, ex- Lord 
plaining the principles on which he was doing it in a agenda 
circular dispatch (January 4th, 1907). The subjects 1181 ' 
submitted in advance were, he remarked, " at least 
equal in number and importance" to those brought 
up in 1902. Having regard to the example of the 
last session, he thought that there might be three 
sittings a week, and that the session might last from 
three weeks to a month. He reminded the Colonial 
Governments that he himself had suggested for dis- 
cussion certain subjects : the Constitution of the 
Conference, Emigration to the Colonies, Naturalisa- 
tion, and the method of ordering ammunition from 
the United Kingdom. It was probable that the 
Army Council and the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty might also desire to bring forward certain 
other matters. But these would come under the 
general head of Defence ; and he thought it would 
be best to give precedence to the subjects suggested 
by the Colonies themselves. As to the method of 
arranging the agenda list : 



42 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

" I have thought it right to place first among the 
subjects suggested by the Colonies those put forward 
by all the three Colonies which have made suggestions, 
then to consider those suggested by more than one, 
and then those suggested by one Colony only. This 
principle must, of course, be followed with due regard 
to the intrinsic importance of the subjects themselves, 
and to the probability of arriving at definite results by 
discussion." 

After giving an analysis of the subjects proposed by 
the three Colonies, he proceeded : 

" These subjects vary materially in importance, and 
also in respect to the possibility of useful discussion, 
having regard to the state of public opinion in the 
United Kingdom. For example, the question of 
reciprocity in professions is complicated by technical 
considerations, and it is doubtful whether discussion 
could at present result in anything further than an 
academic resolution. The question of a uniform 
system of patents has formed the subject of much 
correspondence since the Conference of 1902, and so 
far it has been found impossible to overcome the 
difficulties in the way. Similarly, His Majesty's 
Government think that public opinion in this country 
is not ripe for the adoption of the metric system. . . . 

" I propose, therefore, that the agenda of the 
Conference should be framed on the following lines. 
The nucleus of the subjects will be : Constitution of 
Future Conferences, Preferential Trade, Defence, 
Naturalisation, Emigration. Next in order will come 
judicial appeals, reservation of bills, extension of 
British interests in the Pacific. Finally, and if time 
allows, discussion might proceed with regard to 
uniformity of patents and merchandise marks legisla- 
tion, reciprocity in professions, metric system." (Cd. 
3337, pp. 4-6.) 

He suggested that separate discussions might be 
held at the Treasury with regard to the questions 



Tin-: KKCKSS, i<)o!>- i)o7 i ; 

<!' decimal currency, profit on silver coinage, stamp 
charges on Colonial bonds, and double income-tax. 

A recurring: Conference, properly equipped, would P<"t ro - 

& V f solution* 

expect to be furnished at the beginning of each session not foi- 
with a statement showing what had been done since 
the last session to give effect to the conclusions then 
reached. But the Imperial Conference was still an 
embryo organisation, lacking, as Mr. Lyttelton had 
pointed out, the equipment necessary for this elemen- 
tary condition of efficiency. Apart from Lord Elgin's 
allusion to voluminous correspondence on the subject 
of Patents in accordance with the express request 
conveyed by resolution in 1902 there is nothing in 
the official documents to indicate that the Colonial 
Office, which technically was responsible for the Con- 
ference, had paid any further attention to the other 
resolutions or thought it necessary to present any 
statement about developments during the recess. But 
a good deal had, in fact, happened. The situation in 
South Africa, after the war, had presented a notable 
opportunity for considering how effect could best be 
given to the resolution of 1897 which recommended 
that Colonies geographically united should if possible 
be federated. That resolution was one of the earliest 
among what may be called the "capital" resolutions " Capital" 
of the Conference, i.e. those which lay down funda- 
mental principles for the constitution or policy of the 
Imperial partnership, as distinguished from those 
which are either subsidiary or deal with transient 
circumstances. But there is nothing to show that 
the question of the reconstruction in South Africa 
was ever considered with reference to the capital 
resolution of the Imperial Conference. Though Sirop^or- 
Wilfrid Laurier, politically harassed by the mutinous in south 
tendency in Quebec, would probably have treated the J 
suggestion as he had already treated the minor 



44 

question about the status of professional men, 1 there 
can be little doubt that the other Colonial Govern- 
ments would have appreciated a decision of the British 
Government not to take any irrevocable step, such as 
the proposed " Lyttelton constitution," until the Con- 
ference had met again. 2 A decision to that effect 
would at least have averted the friction with the 
Australasian Governments that arose when the in- 
troduction of Chinese labour was sanctioned without 
reference to them, despite the part they had taken in 
the war. It is possible, also, that the result might 
have been to bring about the national union of South 
Africa, under a constitution drafted by practically the 
same men who were eventually employed in the task, 
without the interim and unnecessary creation of fully 
equipped responsible governments, which was attended 
with injustice and bitterness. But neither the Unionist 
Government, though union was always their avowed 
goal, nor their Liberal successors, who hitherto had 
idealised the pre-war condition of separate little States, 
seem ever to have thought of consulting their recent 
allies in war on the question of how the declared 
policy of the Imperial Conference should be applied 
in the South African case. 

The com The resolution on Preferential Trade was another 
abolished, f the " capital " order, and supremely important, as it 
affirmed a policy expressing the vital principle of 
organic union. The United Kingdom had been the 
first to take action thereon, but in a deplorably 
negative sense. In 1902 the country was for the 
moment in the same favourable position as all the 

1 See vol. i. p. 372. 

2 The Conservative proposal to grant " representative " government was 
made in 1905. A demand that Canada should be consulted in connection 
with the constitution which, it was then being rumoured, the Liberals were 
about to give to the Transvaal, was made editorially by the Toronto Mail and 
Empire of July 21, 1906. Of. Lord Milner, at Manchester, Dec. 14, 1906. 



THK RECESS, 1902-1907 \:> 

other self-governing States and most of the Crown 
Colonies for effecting Imperial Preference. The tariff 
instituted for domestic purposes lent itself to modi- 
fication for the Imperial purpose without detri- 
ment to its primary national function. Besides the 
traditional import duties on certain tropical products 
which would be a basis for preference to the Crown 
Colonies, India, and South Africa, the trifling duty on 
corn and flour afforded a perfect opportunity for giving 
preference to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 
The corn duty was in intention and effect a purely 
revenue duty, yielding about 2^ millions sterling 
without hardship to a single soul in the country, 
with the possible exception of temporarily taxing the 
millers or bakers until the incidence of the duty had 
time to settle on the oversea grain-growers. Had the 
revenue been indispensable it might easily have been 
safeguarded for some years by the simple expedient of 
raising the duty on foreign produce sufficiently to 
compensate the loss of revenue from Colonial produce. 
But the only effect of the capital resolution of 1902 on 
the policy of Britain was to persuade the most short- 
sighted of modern Governments that the revenue was 
not indispensable, and that it would be better to 
abolish the duty altogether than to make it an agency 
of Imperial union. To posterity, out of touch with the 
party politics of that time, the decision must always 
appear as an almost incredible feat of fiscal bigotry. 

After such a slap in the face from the pro- imperial 
fessedly Imperialist party in Britain, the other SlhT" 
members of the Conference could hardly have been D 
expected to pay further heed to those sections of the 
capital resolution which it was for them to fulfil. 
That they nevertheless went on with the policy is a 
striking testimony to their universal conviction, arising 
from instinct rather than any theory of statecraft, that 



46 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

herein lay the key to consolidation of the Empire. 
New Zealand and the South African Customs Union 
lost no time in giving effect to their obligations under 
the resolution of 1902. 1 Both accorded an instalment 
of preference to Britain in the course of 1903. In 
1906 the South African Customs Union revised its 
arrangements, and took the opportunity to arrange 
reciprocal preference with New Zealand and Australia. 
In Australia the question of British preference was 
left over to be dealt with as soon as the Commonwealth 
Government should be able to take up the whole 
question of tariff revision. But an attempt was 
made to enact a preliminary instalment in connection 
with an abortive treaty of reciprocity with New 
Zealand (1906). The Bill granting the preference to 
Britain was, however, reserved for the Royal Assent ; 
the Labour Party having insisted on restricting the 
preference to goods carried in British ships manned by 
white labour, which the Imperial authorities held to 
be a violation of foreign treaty rights. Thus the Bill 
never became operative ; and the initiation of British 
preference in Australia had to wait, after all, until 
the Commonwealth Parliament was able, after the 
Conference of 1907, to take up the question of the 
federal tariff as a whole. Canada, meanwhile, naturally 
did not proceed with the further preference which she 
had offered as the price of preferential exemption from 
the British corn duty. But since Germany, by way 
of retaliation for the British preference, persisted in 
refusing to grant her the benefit of the most-favoured- 
nation clause, the Dominion proceeded, in 1903, to 
levy a surtax of one-third the ordinary tariff rates 
on German imports, thus doubling the British pre- 
ference against Germany in the Canadian market. 

1 For a fuller account of the preferences enacted in 1002-1907, see 
Appendix J to this volume. 



THK Rr.CKSS, 1902-1907 47 

Newfoundland had never committed herself, except 
to the extent of the general resolution, arid was now 
in the middle of her single-handed struggle for 
American reciprocity. 

In 1906 the influence of the recent British elections POSITION 
did not take longer than in 1911 to make itself apparent CANADA. 
in the policy of the Canadian Government. Early in 
1906 they took the first step in that policy of seek- 
ing markets, outside the Empire, which in 1902 they 
had in effect warned the British Government would be 
the result of failure to secure by means of Preference 
a more expansive market in Britain for Canadian 
products. The first step was to bring Canada under 
the Anglo- Japanese treaty of 1894, with a view to Japanese 
obtaining access on easier terms than hitherto to tr 
the markets of Japan, where the western dietary 
was said to be coming into fashion. Part of the 
price paid by the Dominion was a recognition of 
the right of Japanese subjects to enter and reside 
in Canada, which presently l led to a dangerous out- 
break of mob violence in British Columbia ; once 
more indicating the connection between economic 
policy and foreign policy. Before the end of the 
same year (1906) a second important step was taken 
by a revision of the Canadian tariff. Instead of 
containing only the "general" and "preferential" 
columns, the tariff was henceforth to include a third 
and "intermediate" column, specifying rates midway inter- 
between those of the General and Preferential tariffs, 
for the benefit of such foreign countries as might be 
deemed to give Canada equally favourable treatment. 
The Canadian Government seem at the time to have 
thought that the Intermediate tariff might be applied 
to any country simply by Order in Council, without 

1 Sept. 1907. 



48 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

the necessity of negotiating a treaty which would tie 
their hands for a period of years. But in practice, 
when in course of time negotiations with France and 
other countries were undertaken, they found them- 
selves obliged not only to enter into treaties but to 
enlarge the concessions offered by the Intermediate 
tariff, thus encroaching further than they had intended 
on the margin of British preference. It has, indeed, 
been a feature of their career in the path of com- 
mercial negotiation with foreign countries that at 
every stage they have gone further than they were 
generally expected or had themselves intended to go. 
In the latest instance, that of the American negotia- 
tions, they seemed to most observers to have set in 
motion forces which they could not control. 
The Despite, however, the evident postponement of Im- 

antl-i d m an perial Reciprocity as a consequence of the Unionist 
fofrfafe ' m j anuai y 1906, the steps which had been 
taken by the outgoing Colonial Secretary to put in 
hand the agenda for the next session of the Confer- 
ence, and particularly his own special proposal, had 
given an impetus to public interest which the acces- 
sion of the Free Traders could not abruptly reverse ; 
and which in retrospect contrasts palpably, at the 
time of writing, with the general mood of languid 
pessimism on the eve of the 1911 session. In Canada 
the opponents of constructive Imperialism maintained 
a steady stream of protest against the idea that the 
Dominion should undertake any expenditure for naval 
defence or incur the risk of diminution of autonomy 
which was held to lurk in the Lyttelton proposal. It 
might have been supposed that the disarmament pro- 
gramme of the new British Government would have 
reassured the Canadian anti-Imperialists. On the 
other hand the awakening of Britain to the palpable 
menace of the German naval policy which the dis- 



TIIK RKC'KSS, 1902-1907 49 

armament policy was obviously put forward to counter 
-may have been noted in Canada as portending a 

ibility of renewed attempts at the coming Con- 
ference to obtain naval subsidies from the Dominions. 
Tho extreme pacificist attitude was plainly congenial 
to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, but was not universal to liis 
party. Mild proposals in the direction of creating the 
nucleus of a Canadian navy had been put forward by 
Mr. Prdfontaine, 1 the Minister of Marine and Fisheries 
(to which department in Canada naval defence is 
assigned); but on his death they were allowed to drop. 

Meanwhile the Canadian Imperialists succeeded counter 
in keeping their views to the fore. A motion moved of cana- 
in the Dominion House of Commons by Colonel Sam P e^aiist. 
Hughes in favour of a "full partnership union" of 
the Empire gave rise to an interesting discussion, 2 
after which the motion was withdrawn. But in 
Canada the predominant feeling is antagonistic to 
ambitious schemes of political union of the Empire. 
Most of the Imperialists would rather rely on Imperial 
Reciprocity to bring in its train whatever devices of 
political machinery may be found necessary to effec- 
tive unity. The British Empire League of Canada, an 
association which had succeeded the Imperial Federa- 
tion League when the parent society in Britain was 
found unwilling to insist on Preference, passed a resolu- 
tion advocating intercolonial reciprocity should Britain 
still decline to take part in preferential arrangements. 

As the Imperial session approached, a vigorous Attempt 
demand arose in Quebec instigated by La Presse, premier" 
the largest French-Canadian newspaper, and backed ft ttmding 
by Mr. Bourassa, the rising leader of French-Canadian 
tribalism that the Premier should not attend the 
Conference at all. The excuse urged was that in his 
absence the Opposition might be able to damage the 

1 Morning Post, NOT. 29, 30, 1905. * Feb. 11, 1907. 

VOL. II D 



50 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Government in Parliament, which would not have 
completed its work by the time the Premier would 
have to set sail. On March 25th, 1907, the leader 
of the Opposition, Mr. R. L. Borden, asked the Premier 
whether it was true that he was contemplating absten- 
tion from the Conference. He hinted that the corre- 
spondence which had been published regarding the 
status of additional Ministers showed that ever since 
the session of 1902 Sir Wilfrid Laurier had been con- 
sidering the possibility of staying at home next time. 
On the Premier replying that he was in fact anxiously 
considering whether the state of parliamentary busi- 
ness would allow him to attend in London, Mr. Borden 
at once moved the adjournment of the House, for the 
purpose of considering the question of whether Canada 
ought not to be represented by her Prime Minister. 
He argued that the suggested abstention would be 
in effect a repudiation of the unanimous Resolution of 
the Conference in 1902 in favour of quadrennial meet- 
ings, and would tend to nullify the coming session and 
destroy the future of the Conference. Not only, he 
pointed out, was Canada the senior Dominion, but her 
geographical position rendered it much easier for her 
Premier to attend than those of the more distant 
Dominions. If the only obstacle was that the Govern- 
ment were experiencing difficulties with their suppor- 
ters in the House, the Opposition would readily agree to 
an adjournment to cover the period of the Conference. 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier replied that he had not made up 
his mind, but that he could not go unless the Opposition 
co-operated in some such manner as Mr. Borden had 
indicated. Two days later, on March 27th, he was able 
to announce that, taking advantage of Mr. Borden's 
offer to facilitate parliamentary business, he had re- 
solved to go. But he resented the suggestion that 
the interest he had shown in the question of the 



Tin: KKCT.SS, 1902-1907 n 

status of additional members had been prompted by 
any thought of how to evade the responsibility of 
himself attending the Conference. It was necessary, 
he argued, to the efficiency of the Conference that it 
should be attended by the Minister directly concerned 
with the trade question, in which the Canadian Ciovern- 
nu'iit took " a deep and vital interest." l But he did 
not conceal his opinion that, in consequence of the last 
British elections, there was little prospect of the Con- 
ference resulting in anything practical. He entirely 
agreed with Mr. Borden that the question of British 
I i seal policy was one for the British people to decide in 
accordance with their own view of their own interests. 
The trade question was, however, the only one which 
the Canadian Government had ever thought of bring- 
ing up, and on that they had nothing new to propose : 

"Such as our policy was in 1902, such it is in 
1907. We have given to the British people a pre- 
ference under our tariff. This we have done for our P lic y- 
benefit, and for the benefit of the relations which exist 
between us and the Mother Country. But we have 
stated that if it suits the British people to reciprocate 
we shall be prepared to discuss the question and go 
a step further than we have yet gone." 

In general : 

" We are satisfied with our lot ... we go to 
London to perform the task set us, not by way of 
making suggestions ourselves, but rather receiving 
suggestions made to us either by the British or the 
other Colonial Governments." 

He was thus, it may be observed, assuming for Opposes 
Canada the attitude which the British Government {Sid? 1 
had hitherto assumed as their own prerogative, and 
which would only have to be adopted all round in 

1 March 25th. 



52 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

order to reduce the Conference to complete silence. 
As to the talked-of Imperial Council or Commission, 
he feared that any such body might pass resolutions 
or make suggestions which would be embarrassing to 
the Governments interested. It was a proper thing 
that there should be a body to which suggestions 
could be made and information conveyed, but they 
already had the Colonial Office for that purpose. 
He feared that any new body might be composed 
of " all the faddists, all the men of one idea, whose 
business it is to solve problems behind a desk and in 
and the quiet of their offices." He also indicated clearly 
how he would meet any proposal for reviewing the 
question of Imperial defence in the light of the new 
situation created by the German naval programme : 

" I expressed five years ago that for no considera- 
tion whatever would Canada be induced to be drawn 
into the vortex of European militarism. The con- 
ditions which prevail to-day in Europe are deplorable 
to a degree. The condition is one of an armed peace, 
almost as intolerable as war itself. This cannot last 
for ever; it seems to me the date is not far distant 
when these nations, the wisest, the most advanced, the 
most civilised in the world, will recognise the folly 
that has been carried on for centuries and will come 
back to a more humane system, such as we have 
on this continent. Therefore, upon this point, our 
attitude is exactly the same as that which we took in 
1902." 

In the course of the debate Mr. Foster protested 
that " the whole history of the race rose and proved 
that the people who were not prepared to defend 
themselves lost in the long run " ; and that training 
Canadians to defend their country was not the same 
thing by any means as plunging into the vortex 
of militarism. The Americans, he pointed out, had 



THE RKCKSS, 190!>-1!)<)7 .">:J 

already flung off' the fallacy of isolation, 'and were 
building a fleet which would soon be among the 
largest. In these circumstances Imperial union for 
defence was obviously the right policy. Mr. Borden inter- 
took occasion to protest against Mr. Lloyd George's pTrty 
polite description of the Canadian Opposition party as ai 
a "rump of Protectionists." But the then President 
of the Board of Trade has been supported by the 
subsequent Prime Minister who, the other day, de- 
scribed the Preference policy as a record " imposture." 
Counter protests were faithfully made by the Free 
Traders when Mr. Balfour, in the same debate, alluded 
to the American reciprocity agreement as a " disaster." 
It is a rule of the party game that such statements 
and protests should be made in due alternation ; but 
there is nothing to show that the Empire as a whole 
fails to recognise the party motive where it is mani- 
fest, or to suspect it even where patriotism for a 
moment has supervened. No bones are broken over 
the politicians' wordy warfare. 

Mr. Bryce, the British Ambassador at Washington, Treaty 
came to Ottawa shortly before the departure of the 3j!ga- an( 
Canadian Ministers for London. It was rumoured at tlons> 
the time that Sir Wilfrid Laurier intended seeking 
the release of Canada from existing British commercial 
treaties, so as to free her hands for negotiation with 
foreign countries. After the Alaska Boundary episode 
in 1904, Sir Wilfrid Laurier had spoken of the neces- 
sity of acquiring larger treaty powers for Canada ; 
but the agitation which began was not maintained. 
On April 4th, 1907, Sir Wilfrid Laurier sailed from 
St. John, leaving Sir Richard Cartwright to wind up 
the parliamentary business. 

Mr. Seddon, who in 1902 had made a kind of royal POSITION 
progress through South Africa as well as Britain, ZEAI!ND 
was not the man to relapse into insular apathy. In 



54 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

October 1905, a report 1 ' appeared in the British 
press that he had received an invitation to attend an 
Imperial Conference in the ensuing year ; that he had 
publicly announced his intention of doing so ; and 
that he would bring up, among other subjects, the 
formation of an Imperial council, the adoption of 
retaliatory laws in regard to coastwise trade, and the 
improvement of the method of dealing with appeals 
to the Privy Council. The immediate effect of this 
report was to evoke a protest in the Liberal press 
against the outrageous presumption of the discredited 
Balfour Government, then plainly tottering to its fall, 
in proposing to convene any such Conference. It was 
further ascertained that no invitations had in fact 
yet been issued ; and it was not obscurely hinted that 
the self-assertive Premier had better mind his own 
business and wait till he was asked. Mr. Seddon at 
once cabled to explain that he had never said he had 
received an invitation, but had only alluded to the 
Conference as a probable event. But he declared 
that to refuse to convene the Conference would be a 
breach of agreement with the Colonies. The episode 
is worth recalling because it illustrates what in retro- 
spect seems an astonishing ignorance to have been 
displayed even so lately as six years ago, though it 
was characteristic of the public mind in regard to the 
Conference. The Lyttelton despatch of the previous 
April, with its reference to the prospective session, 
had not yet been made public. Yet it is strange to 
think that the Resolution passed in 1902 in favour 
of quadrennial meetings had been so completely for- 
gotten already in the journalistic world of the Imperial 
metropolis. 

But Mr. Seddon was not destined to attend another 
Imperial session. He died suddenly " in harness," 

1 Times, Oct. 17 and 19, 1905. 



Till-: BECE88, Uioii. 1!>07 55 

undrr ihe strain of overwork on a "holiday" visit i-> 

Australia, just after he had t mkirked on the homeward 

voyage, on Sunday, June 10th, 1906. His successor 

Sir Joseph Ward, duly forwarded the advance resolu- Ward 

tioiiK, including the subjects already indicated by hisFmircriTi 

late chief. Before leaving for England, he explained 

in public speeches the attitude he would adopt at the 

Conference. At Duuedin he declared that there was 

a " call for some concrete, authoritative body capable 

of voicing the sentiments or conveying the decisions " 

of the Colonial Government to the British dlovern- 

ment ; " a responsible council with representation from 

all portions of the Empire." The proposal would, 

he thought, be welcomed by the authorities in the 

Home country, who would regard it " in the light of 

members of a distant family coming together to the 

old home to assist in the preservation and the 

strengthening of the tie that binds them together." 

It seems clear that his ideas in this direction were on account 

11 ft . i n of Asiatic 

inspired by a sense ot the paramount urgency 01 one immigra- 
particular question, with which he repeatedly asso- danger. 
ciated the proposal to create an advisory council : 

" Take the question of the introduction of coloured 
races. . . . Perhaps it will be of interest to you to 
know the terms of the motion of which I have given 
notice : ' That in all future treaties with foreign 
nations the Imperial Government will make such 
treaties subject to the right of all its self-governing 
Colonies to pass such laws as they think fit to limit 
to the fullest degree, short of absolute exclusion, the 
immigration into those Colonies of aliens.' The motion 
embodies what I claim to be the undoubted right of 
the British people of New Zealand to frame their own 
legislation governing aliens, and we are surely justified 
in asking the Mother Country, in any treaty that it 
may require for offensive or defensive purposes to 
enter into, to preserve this right for its self-governing 



56 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Colonies to exercise. We cannot, of course, ask to be 
allowed to legislate for absolute exclusion, as that 
would necessarily be denied to us, and it would be un- 
fair of us to ask it; but we can ask for the preserva- 
tion of the right to legislate for the limitation to the 
fullest degree of the introduction of coloured or 
alien races to our country." (Otago Witness, Jan. 23, 
1907.) 

The The above is particularly interesting because the 
resolution, resolution thus read out does not appear with the 
rest of the New Zealand resolutions in the published 
correspondence ; nor was the subject specially dis- 
cussed at the Conference. In the published Report 
of the session there is very little reference to the 
subject of coloured immigration ; though it may have 
been treated sectionally or at a private sitting. 
From the context the allusion seems clearly to have 
been to the treaty of alliance (not the commercial 
treaty, to which only Queensland and Canada had 
become parties) with Japan ; l though it is not gener- 
ally supposed that there is anything in that treaty 
to give the Japanese Government the right of claim- 
ing entry for its subjects into British Colonies. Nor 
is there known to have been any serious friction at 
this time with New Zealand, except that certain 
restrictive legislation, aimed specifically at Chinese, 
had not been assented to. Whatever may have been 
his immediate ground for anxiety, Sir Joseph Ward 
was clearly very much in earnest about the matter. 
At Melbourne, on his way to London, he was re- 
ported as saying to an interviewer that there would 
be a struggle some day to keep the Japanese and 

1 Cf. The Hound Table, No. 2, Feb. 1911, which contains a most illuminat- 
ing article on the Imperial aspects of the Japanese Alliance, pointing out 
how the recent naval concentration has left the Empire entirely dependent 
on Japan in the Pacific. The treaty terminates in 1915, a year in which a 
session of the Imperial Conference would normally fall due. 



Till; lUX'ESS, 1902-1907 57 

('hinese from forcing an entry into Australia and 
New Zealand : 

" Our position out here is not appreciated in 
England. When I was there some time ago I met 
a number of leading statesmen at dinner, and in con- 
versation afterwards I was astounded to find that 
they did not understand our reasons for objecting to 
the Eastern races, and were in favour of throwing 
Australia and New Zealand open to all comers. . . . 
There is no such party in New Zealand. The day I 
came away I was entertained at lunch by the merchants 
of Auckland, who are the most conservative of our 
people, and they cheered me to the echo when I 
spoke about alien exclusion. We will not have these 
immigrants in New Zealand, and you are in the same 
position in Australia. . . . The one thing that would 
make Australians and New Zealanders turn and tight 
against their own flag would be an attempt to force 
them to admit these aliens." (Melbourne Argus, Feb. 
5, 1907.) 

Urging the creation of an Imperial council for the Asiatic 
primary purpose of instructing and stiffening Home and" 8 
opinion and the British Government in regard to 
the Asiatic question, Sir Joseph Ward, on all these 
occasions, went on to the logical conclusion that it 
would then be the duty of New Zealand to contri- 
bute much more heavily than hitherto towards the 
maintenance of a fleet " for the defence of the Home 
land as well as of its possessions." He admitted that 
" it would, of course, be a splendid thing for the 
world at large if, as a result of the next Peace Con- 
ference at The Hague, there could be a period of 
peace among all the nations of the world proclaimed 
for the next fifty years, or even for a shorter period " ; 
but they must take the world as they found it, and 
be " equipped and ready to meet the worst should 



58 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

it happen to arise." Coupled, again, with these 
proposals was always that of Imperial reciprocity, 
including intercolonial preferences and the power, 
hitherto annulled by treaty obligations, of confining 
preference to goods carried in British ships. He was 
going to London prepared to negotiate a treaty of 
preference with Canada, but never excluding the 
mother country from the benefit. He was reported 
in the Melbourne interview as saying that in private 
letters to him Sir Wilfrid Laurier had endorsed his 
ideas about an Imperial council ; but the Canadian 
Premier contradicted the report as soon as his atten- 
tion was called thereto. In regard to all these 
proposals Sir Joseph Ward reminded his hearers 
that no decision of the Conference would be bind- 
ing until it had been ratified by the Colonial Parlia- 
ment. 

POSITION Despite the divergence of their Imperial policies 
TRAUA! in one or two important particulars, there was some 
attempt at co-operation between the Governments of 
New Zealand and the Commonwealth. Mr. Seddon 
had consulted Mr. Deakin before replying to the 
despatch proposing the postponement of the session 
from 1906 to 1907. His " holiday" visit to Australia 
afforded an opportunity, of which advantage was 
taken, to compare ideas. After the federal elections in 
December 1906, which marked the final defeat of 
Free Trade in the politics of the Commonwealth, the 
prospects of the coming Conference were discussed 
with some animation in the Australian press. There 
seemed to be a general feeling that Mr. Deakin, 
although the elections had only given him a direct 
following of nineteen members out of seventy-five 
in the new House, would be the best represen- 
tative of the Commonwealth. But the Age, 1 

1 Melbourne Age, Jan. 21, 23, Feb. 6, 1907. 



TIN-: m;< T.SS. 1!)02-1907 59 

though generally supporting the leader of the Pro- 
tectionists, displayed a certain nervousness. It re- 
called how Sir Edmund Barton had gone to the 
Conference leaving a pledge behind him that nothing 
binding would be done without the consent of the 
Australian Parliament ; but had returned with the 
obnoxious Naval Agreement which Parliament had 
to accept on pain of having to find another leader 
at an inconvenient time. Accordingly the Age Demand 
demanded that Parliament should be given a chance mentary 
of passing resolutions for the guidance of the Premier cc 
on the main subjects which were to be discussed. 1 
The policy of naval subsidies, or " hiring " defence, 
should be repudiated, and that of creating an 
Australian navy should be affirmed ; mutual prefer- 
ence in trade should be urged ; and any form of an 
Imperial council " involving Imperial federation " 
should be deprecated. In general, the standpoint 
and method of closer Imperial union should be that of 
alliance rather than federation ; and mutual prefer- 
ence in trade would be a stronger bond than any 
artificial scheme of political unity. Sir Joseph Ward's 
proposal was criticised by the Age as being incon- 
sistent ; because it postulated, on the one hand, 
authority and responsibility for the proposed council, 
and, on the other hand, undiminished autonomy for 
the States, which was a contradiction of ideas. 2 

In regard to Preferential Trade there seems to 
have been no difference of opinion between its New 
Zealand and Australian advocates ; except that in 

1 The same demand was made in New Zealand. Cf. the Wellington 
/:>' niny Post, Oct. 27, 1905, criticising Mr. Seddon for having committed 
the Colony in 1902 to a contribntion to the Queen Victoria Memorial without 
previously consulting Parliament, and on account of his proposal regarding a 
military Reserve force. 

1 Sir Joseph Ward seems, however, to have imagined a council advising 
primarily, if not exclusively, the British Government, not the Colonial 
Governments. 



60 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

the view of the Age the policy of Imperial Recipro- 
city, being really vital to closer union of the Empire, 
should be strongly pressed on the British Govern- 
ment and people, instead of being presented by 
the Colonial representatives in its Colonial aspects 
only. Lord Milner's carefully reasoned speeches 
were attracting interest and approval in both Canada 
and Australia. His dictum, " England must remain a 
Great Power or she will become a poor country," l and 
that she could not remain a Great Power except by 
means of closer Imperial union based on trade recipro- 
city, seemed to the Age to put the position in a nut- 
shell. The apprehension that Mr. Deakin might be 
outmanosuvred by the British Government as Sir 
Edmund Barton had been was strengthened by 
the unsympathetic tone of insular indifference to 
Australian aspirations in which the Committee of 
Imperial Defence had lately been criticising the 
Commonwealth's naval proposals. 2 On the other 
hand, a welcome indication of the tardy awakening 
of Britain to the Australian point of view was 
afforded by a debate in the British House of Com- 
mons 3 in February, in the course of which Mr. Balfour, 
the leader of the Opposition, pronounced against the 
policy of seeking cash subsidies from the Dominions. 
com- One event of this Imperial recess was the 

Sties passage in the Commonwealth Parliament, and 
i. e with Mr. Deakin's support, 4 of a vaguely-worded 
resolution in favour of some kind of Home Rule 
for Ireland. The incident illustrates an interesting 
phase of the Imperial movement which may be 
described as Compatriot Politics, but which cannot 
be discussed adequately within the present limits of 
space. Another example of it was a manifesto sent by 

1 At Manchester, Dec. 14, 1906. 2 P. (1907), pp. 38-63. 

3 Feb. 15, 1907. * Oct. 10 and 12, 1905. 



'HIE RECESS, 1902-1907 Hi 

Labour Members of the British Parliament asking 
their Australian sympathisers to vote against Mr. 
Deakin and Preference in the Commonwealth elec- 
tions. 1 In some quarters the passage of the resolution 
srcms to have prompted the idea that Home Rule 
for Ireland might be one of the subjects to be 
put down by the Commonwealth for discussion at 
the next Imperial Conference. An Auckland news- 
paper reproduced a cartoon by " F. C. G." in which 
New Zealand was depicted going to the Conference 
with a " No Chinese Labour " placard, and Australia Chinese 
with " Home Rule for Ireland." The resolution in on the 
the Australian Parliament was engineered by sympa- 
thisers with the Irish Nationalist cause. And after 
the resignation of the Balfour Government, with the 
British general elections imminent, a meeting held in 
Wellington (at which the writer happened to be 
present) cabled an anti-Chinese-labour resolution to 
Sir Henry Campbell - Bannerman, which was duly 
exploited by the Liberals in the election cam- 
paign. 

Before leaving for England Mr. Deakin expounded Deakin 

explains 

to the Commonwealth Parliament ~ the resolutions MS res 
which the Commonwealth had sent in for the Con- 
ference. He explained the idea of the Imperial 
Council in much the same language as he after- 
wards used in London ; making it clear to those 
who took the trouble to compare his statement with 
Sir Joseph Ward's speeches that the Australian 
resolution, unlike the other, was merely a proposal 
to change the name of the existing Conference and 
provide it with a permanent office for attending to 
its business, instead of proposing to create any new 
body on a wider or different basis. Though inter- 
rupted by constant interjections, in a manner which 

1 Dec. 1906. * Feb. 21, 1907. 



62 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

seems to be characteristic of Australian parliaments, 
he encountered no serious criticism. 

POSITION Inevitably in South Africa the approaching Con- 
ference was viewed in its supposed relation to the 



respective interests of the two political parties in 
Britain, South African politics being for the moment 
divided on that unnatural line. By their action in 
restoring the Transvaal to Boer control before the end 
of 1906, and in promising to do the same in the next 
year with the Orange River Colony, the Liberals 
secured the gratitude not only of the Boer parties 
in the newly-added Colonies, but also of the affiliated 
party in Cape Colony, who were then in opposition. 
That typical example of magnanimity at other people's 
expense could not in any circumstances have appealed 
to the other party in South Africa, who found the 
whole weight of the British Government openly 
Transvaal thrown into the scales against them. Their irrita- 

constitu- . .. , i i i -i 

tion. tion was exasperated by the cynical dishonesty with 
which the constitution for the Transvaal had been 
"cooked" in order to make sure of a Boer majority 
in the new legislature. An allegation that the 
population figures of the Rand had been faked was 
eagerly seized upon by the British Government with- 
out any attempt at investigation it proved after- 
wards to have been entirely baseless as an excuse 
for increasing the representation of the country 
districts and diminishing that of the Rand. The 
same ill-will was displayed also in connection with 
the suppression of the native rising in Natal, with 
results which the present writer was able to observe 
on the spot. A common impression among South 
Africans of British descent was that the new Govern- 
ment in Britain had reverted to the old Liberal 
policy of getting rid of the Empire, and had acquired 
allies for that purpose in South Africa who would 



THK RECESS, 1902-11)07 

;ilct them readily in weakening the ties. The 
[reference which the South African Customs Union 
(including Rhodesia) had already accorded to British 
imports, in accordance with the Imperial Resolution 
of 1 :)<>_', was felt to be in jeopardy. A Customs Con- 
vention held at Pietermaritzburg in March 1906, at 
which the two new Colonies were represented by 
the Crown Administrations, unanimously passed the 1S 
following resolution : 

" That while the preference accorded to goods and 
articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of the 
United Kingdom in the tariff now agreed upon is 
accorded fully and without any condition as to re- 
ciprocal treatment on the part of the United Kingdom, 
the Conference desires to record its opinion that the 
policy of preferential treatment would be more accept- 
able to the people of South Africa if a reciprocal 
preference were accorded to their products in the 
tariff of the United Kingdom ; and that, if such 
reciprocity were accorded, it is the opinion of this 
Conference that the Preference now accorded would 
be considerably increased." 

Quoting this resolution in the Natal Parliament the 
Premier, Mr. Moor, stated that the Government fully 
endorsed it. 1 He took the same opportunity, in reply 
to a series of detailed questions, to explain the atti- 
tude of the Government in regard to the leading 
subjects for discussion at the Conference. 

Dr. Jameson sailed for England without having cape 
consulted the Cape Parliament in regard to the Con- M 
ference, and was fiercely attacked on that score by 
the Opposition. Mr. Sauer (afterwards one of the 
South African Ministers nominated to attend the 
1911 session) declared in a public speech 2 that 
the majority of the electors were opposed to the 

1 Dec. 20, 1906. * At Sea Point, April 10, 1907. 



64 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

preference whereby they " gave a good deal and got 
nothing in return," and would vote it down if they 
were free from the entanglement of the Customs 
Union. Himself representing the Protectionist party 
in the Colony, he went on to argue, like certain 
American Protectionists, that Free Trade was the 
best policy for Britain, and that her people had 
recently shown at the polls their appreciation of the 
fact. 

With no clear idea of what it meant the one party 
cdSi f approved the suggestion of an Imperial council, be- 



cause Dr. Jameson had associated himself with it, 

* 

while the other party denounced it. But a curious 
misconception may be noted. A Rhodesian news- 
paper hastened to congratulate Lord Elgin on having 
accepted the suggestion, thus showing himself to be 
an open-minded statesman and not afraid to follow 
Mr. Chamberlain. Even in the Melbourne Age 1 the 
notion emerged that Lord Elgin had committed him- 
self to the proposal by placing it on the agenda ; 
the truth being, of course, that the new Colonial 
Secretary was unable to exclude a subject in regard 
to which his predecessor's overture had elicited 
favourable replies from several of the Colonial 
Governments. 

POSITION In Britain the general idea, as the Conference 
paS approached, seemed to be that the event would re- 
CoJfe h r- dound to the advantage of the Opposition party, 
owing to the prominence which Preference would 
assume in the hands of the Australasian and South 
African representatives, and to the disadvantage of 
the Liberal Government. To some, however, it ap- 
peared that the record of the Unionists in having 
slammed the door on Preference in 1903, and their 
subsequent shuffling over the question of " food 

1 Jan. 23, 1907. 



ence - 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 fir> 

taxes," which they had thus helped the Free Traders 
to make into a bogey, would be awkward obstacles 
to exploiting the Conference in the Unionist interest. 
Tl it- Liberals, on their side, revealed their intention 
of exploiting the presence of General Botha. It did 
not matter that ordinarily they would have classed 
the General as a thorough " Tory," an agrarian aristo- 
crat and a Protectionist. For the time being they 
would advertise him as an enlightened Liberal, en- 
thusiastically co-operating in the policy of replacing 
the Chinese on the Rand not with Natives but with 
white labourers drawn from Britain. In truth the 
Liberal Government had need to make the most of 
their Boer alliance. Within the short space of Blunders 
eighteen months they had blundered into no less Govem- 
than three quarrels simultaneously. Through their m 
high-handed indifference to Colonial sentiment and 
interests, forbidding them to seek closer acquaintance 
with local conditions of which their knowledge was 
scant, they had come to loggerheads with the Common- 
wealth over the New Hebrides, with Newfoundland 
over the fisheries question, and with Natal. The last 
two espisodes came eventually to a curious termina- 
tion ; payments resembling hush-money being made 
in both cases by the British Government with the 
apparent object of averting judicial proceedings which 
would have involved discussion of the constitutional 
aspects of their administrative action. 1 

Two other Conferences, subsidiary to the Imperial 

r\ i-i-ii i TION 

Conference, were held about the same time as the 
principal event. A Conference on Navigation, or 

1 The British Government paid the fines of the Newfoundland fishermen, 
Dnbois and Crane, on condition that the proposed appeal to the Privy Council 
should not go forward (Newfoundland, House of Assembly, Feb. 18, 1908); 
and they paid Dinizulu's arrears of salary themselves rather than have the 
question of the liability (on which they had insisted) of the Natal Govern- 
ment submitted to the Supreme Court, as the Natal Ministers wished. (Cd. 
4328, p. 29.) 

VOL, H E 



66 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Shipping Laws, was convened by the Board of Trade 
to consider the situation which had arisen owing to 
the Merchant Shipping Act passed by the British 
Parliament in 1906, and of recent legislation on the 

' O 

same subject in New Zealand ; while in Australia a 
Commission had been appointed to investigate the 
question with a view to legislation by the Common- 
wealth. In general the purpose of the British Act 
was to impose such standards of safety and comfort for 
the crews as would be consistent with the exigencies 
of foreign competition ; whereas the Australasian 
purpose was to impose such higher standards as a 
policy of Protection might render possible. The 
question of Imperial uniformity became, therefore, 
a question of levelling Australasia down, or levelling 
Britain up. The Conference, attended by representa- 
tives of Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, who 
included Ministers, officials, and spokesmen of ship- 
owners and seamen, sat during April, and arrived at 
conclusions which the Australasian representatives 
thought might be made the basis of legislation with a 
view to reconciling as far as possible the conflicting 
aims. 

EDUCA- The Education Conference assembled after the 

Imperial Conference was over. It was unofficial, 
having been convened through the commendable 
enterprise of the League of the Empire, but it was 
attended by representatives of official education de- 
partments in many parts of the Empire, including 
Britain. It also was a great success ; and the feeling 
arose that the institution should be perpetuated. 
There was some discussion as to whether an official 
or unofficial status for the Conference would in future 
be preferable. In favour of continuing the unofficial 
status there was the warning example of how the 
Colonial Office had succeeded, as will presently be 



THE RECESS, 1902-1907 67 

described, in throttling the natural development of 
the Imperial Conference. Ultimately, however, the 
following resolution was carried : 

"That the delegates desire to express their ap- 
preciation of the value of this Conference to the work 
of the Education Departments throughout the Empire, 
and resolve (1) that a quadrennial Conference is 
desirable; (2) that the representatives sent to the 
Conference should be selected by the Governments; 
(3) that it is desirable that the first of such Con- 
ferences should be convened by the Imperial Govern- 
ment." (Morning Post, June 3, 1907.) 

If this resolution is acted upon (as it appears to have 
been in 1911) there would regularly be a Subsidiary 
Conference on Education, coinciding with the Imperial 
session. 



CHAPTEE XI 

THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 
Preference THE session of 1902 will always be memorable alike 

not an . . . ~ 

open for its negative and for its positive result. The abrupt 
refusal of the British Government, in defiance of the 
rapid progress made by the Tariff Reform movement, 
to countenance the policy of Reciprocity was in ac- 
cordance with the general expectation of all those who 
knew that the instinct of self-preservation actuates 
political parties as much as any other societies of 
men. To the Liberal party the victory of Tariff 
Reform, which could only be hastened by any con- 
cession on their part, would mean as it had meant 
in Canada a wandering in the wilderness until they 
were ready to recant or belie their fiscal profes- 
sions. So they were not in a position to consider 
the question on its merits. They had closed the door 
against their own salvation when, in 1903, they had 
rushed with all the eagerness of a despairing Opposi- 
tion to grasp the golden opportunity which Mr. Cham- 
berlain had given them of exploiting the "little 
loaf" deception. Such an asset could not be sacri- 
ficed to mere consideration of the public interest. 
Their anticipated refusal to withdraw their veto on 
the means essential to organic union of the Empire, 
destroyed whatever chance there might otherwise 
have been of any substantial progress towards organ- 
ising a joint defence of vital common interests, the 
existence of which was thus denied. It likewise 
eliminated the more remote chance of diverting the 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 69 

political tendency of the closer-union movement from 
the path of alliance to that of federation. Why 
federate, when there is no guarantee of permanent 
community of vital interests? 

But the discussions which, thanks to Mr. Lyttel- Or^ani- 
ton's initiative, had taken place during the recess had more hp! 
indicated that the political organisation of the Empire, 
as represented by the existing form of the Imperial 
Conference, was susceptible of practical improvement 
even for the restricted purposes of a makeshift Im- 
perial alliance, terminable by any member whenever 
it might cease to serve the interests of the particular 
State. By a fixed tradition of British policy, founded 
by Lord Knutsford (then Sir Henry Holland) in 1887 
and confirmed by Mr. Chamberlain, the initiative in 
any important proposal for closer union should come 
from the Dominions rather than from the British 
Government. Perhaps Mr. Lyttelton would have 
been better advised had he adhered more strictly 
to that tradition. He might have relied upon the 
Premier of the Australian Commonwealth, whose 
advance resolutions have already been quoted, to 
raise the question of the future constitution of the 
Conference and of the ancillary "Commission." As 
it turned out, Mr. Deakin's first resolution, supported 
by the vaguer proposals from New Zealand and Cape 
Colony, resulted eventually in the adoption of im- 
portant measures for the further regularising and 
strengthening of the Conference as an organ of 
Imperial alliance. 

In its choice of terms Mr. Deakin's resolution peakin f 
reflected the influence of Sir Frederick Pollock's pro- in 
posals and of the Lyttelton despatch. The Common- 
wealth Premier had himself always been a staunch 
adherent to the idea of Imperial federation. Thanks 
largely to his unswerving patronage, the Im- 



70 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

perial Federation League in Australia had survived 
and nourished as it continues to this day long 
after Lord Rosebery's more timorous presidency had 
doomed the parent League in Britain to self-ex- 
tinction. 1 Mr. Deakin, for all the enthusiasm and 
energy he has displayed in creating the Common- 
wealth and in enlarging its national rights, had 
fearlessly insisted upon the responsibilities as well 
as the privileges of such autonomy, and had always 
pointed to Imperial federation in the strict sense 
as the ideal goal for the component nations of the 
Empire. In Canada Sir Wilfrid Laurier had relin- 
quished his early advocacy of Imperial Federation (e.g. 
his Jubilee speeches in England in 1897) owing, no 
doubt, to the prejudices of his tribalist compatriots. 
But in Australia Mr. Deakin had proved his loyalty to 
the national cause too decisively for his Imperialism 
to create any apprehensions. The association in him 
of a truly national policy with the ideal of Imperial 
federation sufficed to convince his countrymen that 
the two conceptions or policies were not antagonis- 
tic but mutually complementary. Certainly he had 
realised that the Imperial movement cannot progress 
unless it enlists the support of the dominant patriot- 
ism for the time being ; that for our time the domi- 
nant patriotism is the species described as territorial 
nationalism ; and that the plan of Imperial union 
should therefore fit in with this national instinct. 
As an Australian nationalist he was the leading 
champion of Protection, the essential principle in 
nation-making ; and of the corresponding policy of 
creating an Australian navy under Commonwealth 
control. But as an Imperialist he modified Protection 

1 For the story of the Imperial Federation League, and how it was 
succeeded in Canada by the British Empire League, cf. Denison, The Struggle 
for Imperial Unity. 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 71 

with Imperial Preference; and he always insisted that 
any Australian navy should be organised from the 
outset with a view to co-operation with the other 
n.tvies of the Empire, and should have a definite place 
in a definite scheme of Imperial defence. So, too, on 
the political side of the Imperial problem ; he would 
retain the Conference as an organ of alliance ; but he 
would not either desire or presume to say to posterity : 
" You shall not enter into Imperial Federation." 

In Canada there has been of recent years the 
appearance of a tendency to dictate to posterity 
in this matter, by deprecating any facilities which 
present-day proposals might afford for a later genera- 
tion to have Imperial federation if they wished. Mr. 
Deakin, on the other hand, has been nothing loth to 
create such facilities. If the term "Council" would 
really stimulate the idea or ease the path of federa- 
tion he would willingly have it substituted for 
" Conference," regardless of which term most accu- 
rately expresses the existing fact. It was this 
difference in temperament or spirit rather than any 
differences in their national policies that caused a 
contrast to be drawn between the attitude of the 
Canadian Ministers and that of Mr. Deakin's group 
at the session of 1907. In regard to national policy 
there was no substantial difference between Canada 
and Australia in any respect. Mr. Deakin's first 
resolution did not suggest any substantial change in 
the constitution of the Conference. By the terms 
of that resolution his "Imperial Council" was to 
consist of representatives of Britain and the self- 
governing Colonies chosen ex-officio from their exist- 
ing administrations. So far as the Colonies were 
concerned, that was practically the constitution of 
the Conference as it stood. 

But Mr. Deakin's further proposal, recalling the 



72 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Hostility discussions which had taken place during the recess, 
office. 011 a for equipping the Conference or Council with a secre- 
tariat and for maintaining closer communication be- 
tween the autonomous Governments of the Empire, 
were calculated to arouse apprehensions in Downing 
Street, even had the Unionists remained in power. 
Government departments afford another example of 
societies susceptible to the instinct of self-preservation, 
if not self- aggrandisement. In the discussions during 
the recess the idea had been mooted of " taking the 
Conference out of the Colonial Office." It had been 
suggested that the principle of alliance should be 
carried to its logical conclusion by freeing the Con- 
ference from any dependence on an official department 
controlled by one alone of the associated Govern- 
ments, and by equipping it with a separate office under 
their joint and equal control. Further, the question 
had been raised whether the normal channel of com- 
munication between the associated Governments, in- 
cluding the Government of Britain, should not be 
this new office rather than the Colonial Office. 
Hitherto the medium of communication between the 
self-governing Colonies and the British Government 
had been a double one. The Colonial Cabinet might 
address the Governor (as e.g. in the Lyttelton cor- 
respondence), who would convey their views to the 
Secretary of State ; or they might communicate direct 
with their High Commissioner or Agent-General in 
London. But in the latter case the Colonial official 
in London could not obtain access to any of the 
British Ministers except through the Colonial Secre- 
tary, so that it all came round to the Colonial Office 
either way. It was suggested, therefore, that an 
easier means of intercourse might be found through 
the proposed new office. The Colonial Office would 
then be restricted to the business of administering 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 73 

the Crown Colonies and Dependencies, and would 
have nothing more to do with the self-governing parts 
of the Empire. Whatever might be the abstract 
merits of the suggestion, it clearly threatened both 
the strength and the dignity of the Colonial Office. 
Alarm in that quarter could not fail to be aroused by 
the ominous if vague suggestions contained in Mr. 
Deakin's principal resolution. The alarm was tinged 
with a bitterness arising from a not unjustifiable 
consciousness that, on the whole, the Office had of 
recent years been doing its work fairly well. Thus 
Mr. Deakin, traditionally the most "affable" and 
moderate of statesmen, arrived in London to find 
himself regarded as a dangerous revolutionary. His 
first resolution had made him obnoxious to officialdom ; 
while his second, relating to Preference, had already 
rendered him a bete noire to the Liberal Government 
and party. 

In these circumstances the bureaucracy and its Prelude to 

i P T i j i the session 

temporary chiefs were readily united in a common of 1907. 
purpose to checkmate the Australian Premier. Their 
apprehensions could not have been diminished by the 
fact that among the Colonial Premiers Mr. Deakin 
seemed to be assured of the support of Sir Joseph 
Ward and Dr. Jameson, who likewise were already 
committed to an " Imperial Council," and were known 
advocates of Imperial Reciprocity. There remained 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Canada) ; Sir Robert Bond (New- 
foundland) ; Mr. F. R. Moor (Natal) ; and Mr. Louis 
Botha (Transvaal), the famous General, representing 
a new member of the Imperial partnership. The 
Orange River Colony was unrepresented, not yet 
having received responsible government. An obvious 
asset for the opponents of progress, if only they could 
exploit it successfully, was Sir Wilfrid Laurier 's 
notorious distrust of any proposal labelled " Imperial 



74 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Council." The other Premiers were more doubtful 
factors. The British Government were at logger- 
heads with Sir Robert Bond over his fisheries dispute 
with the United States. He was hardly likely to 
help them out of any extraneous difficulty, and in 
any case he was not to arrive until after the session 
had begun. Mr. Moor was an unknown quantity in 
Downing Street. Not regarded in his own Colony 
as a particularly strong statesman, in South African 
affairs he was supposed to incline towards co-operation 
with General Botha. The General himself was some- 
thing of a conundrum in relation to the work in hand. 
As a Premier of non-British race, and as the repre- 
sentative of a Colony annexed by war, he occupied a 
position somewhat analogous to that of Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier, and so might be expected to follow the lead 
of the great Canadian. On the other hand he had 
shown a disposition to approach questions of defence 
in a soldierly spirit, which in Quebec would be de- 
nounced as " militarism " ; and there was a discon- 
certing rumour afloat that a temperamental affinity 
between him and Dr. Jameson was beginning to 
assert itself. Such being the situation, much seemed 
to depend, for the bureaucracy and Liberal party 
interests, upon the attitude to be adopted by Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier. Unluckily, from that point of view, 
he did not arrive until the eve of the Conference. 
Mr. Deakin, Dr. Jameson, and Sir Joseph Ward had 
already been established in London for some days. 
They had held informal discussions among them- 
selves and with British Ministers. If the three 
Colonial Premiers had reached any general agreement 
as to how the constitutional question might be dealt 
with, and if they had found British Ministers opposed 
to their view or disinclined to receive it open- 
mindedly, they would naturally hope to have a prior 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 75 

opportunity of explaining it themselves to Sir Wilfrid 
Lmrier, lest he should be prejudiced at the outset by 
having presented to him a perverted version of their 
intention and proposals. But the hospitality of the 
nation required that the venerable Prime Minister of 
the senior Dominion on reaching Euston should be 
conveyed at once to receive a welcome in Downing 
Street before being suffered to take up his quarters 
in the apartments reserved for him at the Hotel 
Cecil. 

Lord Elgin had succeeded in keeping to his date. Opening of 
The fifth session of the Imperial Conference (still at 
this time officially, designated "Colonial Conference") 
opened duly on April 15th, 1907. The official view 
of the constitution of the Conference, as set forth in 
Lord Elgin's prior despatches, is faithfully reflected 
by the form in which the published Report describes 
the attendance on the opening day. First there is 
the list of " Members of the Conference," viz. the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Colonial 
Premiers. Next comes a list of the other " Colonial 
Ministers" who "were present," viz. Sir Frederick 
Borden (Canada), Sir William Lyne (Australia), and 
Dr. Smartt (Cape Colony). Thirdly, the Prime Minis- 
ter of the United Kingdom, Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, " was present," together with several 
other " Members of His Majesty's Government," who 
are named. Then " there were also present " Mr. 
Winston Churchill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary 
of State for the Colonies ; Sir Francis Hopwood, 
Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies; 
Sir J. L. Mackay, on behalf of the India Office ; the 
Assistant Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies ; 
the secretaries for the Conference (supplied by the 
Colonial Office) ; and the private secretaries of the 
Secretary of State and the Colonial Ministers. 



76 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Thus the Colonial Ministers additional to the 
Premiers, and the Imperial Ministers additional to 
the Colonial Secretary, were not yet officially recog- 
nised as members of the Conference. 

British After reading a telegram of welcome and en- 

MhSster couragemeiit from the King, Lord Elgin invited the 
British Prime Minister to address the Conference. 
In form this was a reversion to the precedent of the 
original meeting in 1887. In an analogous manner 
the Canadian Prime Minister had been invited by his 
colleague who was chairman to address the Confer- 
ence at Ottawa in 1894. But at the two intervening 
sessions in London, with Mr. Chamberlain in the 
chair, the Prime Minister of the country under whose 
auspices the Conference was being held did not take 
part in the opening ceremony. Though the form 
had now been revived, the idea behind it was no 
longer the same as in 1887. In the view of the 
forward group, led by Mr. Deakin, the attendance 
of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman signified that the 
Government of Britain were participating as a 
Government, on the same footing as the Colonial 
Governments, which were represented by their Prime 
Ministers, and that the Conference was no longer re- 
garded in Downing Street as a merely departmental 
affair. It had been suggested that Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman should attend by some of those 
members of the Conference who had arrived early in 
London ; and he took this opportunity of showing the 
willingness of his Government to meet as far as pos- 
sible the proposals of the Colonial Premiers. In his 
speech he remarked, since there appeared to be some 
" mistake " in men's minds about it : 

Banner- " This is not a Conference between the Premiers 

an( i ^ e Colonial Secretary, but between the Premiers 







Till: IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 77 

and members of the Imperial Government under the 
presidency of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
which is a very different matter." (R., p. 5.) 

Referring to the intention that the Secretary of State 
for War and the first Lord of the Admiralty should 
take a part in the proceedings, he stated that views 
in the mother country as to the duty of the Colonies 
towards Imperial Defence had lately been " somewhat 
modified " : 

" We do not meet you to-day as claimants for money, 
although we cordially recognise the spirit in which 
contributions have been made in the past, and will, 
no doubt, be made in the future. It is, of course, 
possible to over-estimate the importance of the require- 
ments of the oversea dominions as a factor in our 
expenditure; but however this may be, the cost of 
naval defence and the responsibility for the conduct 
of foreign affairs hang together." (Ibid.) 

The Conference would be addressed, he announced, by 
Mr. John Burns, the President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board, on the subject of Emigration, a matter 
which was "of the utmost importance" to them as 
well as to the mother country ; and in connection 
with the question of Preference, which, he observed, 
" must hold a prominent position," the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer and the President of the Board of 
Trade would " state the views " of the Government. 
They would be prepared " fully to recognise the 
friendly action which has been taken by some of the 
Colonies, and to enter upon this subject in the fullest 
and frankest manner." If differences of opinion were 
inevitable, they would agree to differ in a friendly 
spirit, with mutual respect for each other's motives 
and reasons. He noted the desire expressed for some 
means of continuing the work of the Conference in 



78 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

the intervals between its meetings, which he and his 
colleagues hoped to find " some method of meeting." 
In connection with this and any other proposal he 
wished to remind the Colonial Premiers that " freedom 
and independence were the essence of the Imperial 
connection." He quoted from Mr. Chamberlain's 
opening address in 1902 : 

" The link which unites us, almost invisible as it 
is, sentimental in its character, is one which we would 
gladly strengthen, but at the same time it is proved 
to be so strong that certainly we would not wish to 
substitute for it a chain which might be galling in 
its incidence." (R., p. 6.) 

But freedom did not "necessarily mean letting 

ary " Con- . -i r T i i 11 

ferences things drift. In his opinion some provision should 
gested. be made for "maintaining the impetus" which these 
Conferences gave to the consideration and settlement 
of the questions discussed at them. A possible 
" precedent " had lately been made for holding what 
might be called " subsidiary " Conferences. A Navi- 
gation Conference 1 had been sitting under the pre- 
sidency of the President of the Board of Trade, with 
representatives of Australia and New Zealand (in- 
cluding Sir William Lyne and Sir Joseph Ward) : 

"To my mind the precedent set is of high importance, 
and I should like to see these ancillary Conferences 
held from time to time as matters arise which require 
more time and treatment in greater detail than is 
possible in the Colonial Conference itself." (Ibid.) 

With a peroration protesting a desire to " stretch any 
point that can be stretched" in order to meet the 
views of the Colonies, but also " to avoid prejudicing 
in any way the interests of each other," Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman concluded his address. 

i For the circumstances of this Conference, cf. supra, p, 65. 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 79 

There followed the speeches in reply of the several 
Premiers, in order of their official seniority, nation- 
States having precedence over Colonies. Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier had the unique distinction of having been 

ent at the two last gatherings ; while Mr. Deakin, 
who followed him, alone of those now assembled had 
been present at the original meeting in 1887. Sir 
Joseph Ward and the three South African Premiers 
were all new-comers to the Conference. The main 
interest of these preliminary utterances, which natur- 
ally were more formal in character than the ensuing 
round-table discussions, lies in the indications they 
gave of the standpoint from which each Member was 
disposed to approach the general question of closer 
union and the more specific proposals about to be 
debated. Sir Wilfrid Laurier endorsed Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman's view of the existing consti- 
tution : 

" This Conference is not, as I understand it (I give Laurier on 
my own views), a Conference simply of the Prime 
Ministers of the different self-governing Colonies and 
the Secretary of State, but it is, if I may give my own 
mind, a Conference between government and govern- 
ments ; it is a Conference between the Imperial 
Government and the Governments of the self-governing 
dependencies of England." (R., p. 7.) 

Despite prospective differences of opinion, all believed, 
he said, in the " future of the British Empire," and 
all were trying to " move towards the same goal 
and the same end." As to the right line of progress 
he was in entire accord with the view of the British 
Prime Minister, that the safe path was for each 
part of the Empire to pursue its own interests 
independently : 

" If the basis of the union which now binds the 
British Empire remains as it is now, a proper and 



80 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

always permanent recognition of the principle that 
every community knows best what does for itself, then 
we cannot go wrong, and our deliberations must be 
fruitful." (R., p. 7.) 

Mr. Deakin spoke at greater length. As to the 
ference. existing constitution the Colonial Premiers acknow- 
ledged, he said, the presence of the British Prime 
Minister as a " recognition " of the principle alluded 
to by Sir Wilfrid Laurier that 

" this is a Conference between governments and govern- 
ments, due recognition, of course, being had to the 
seniority and scope of those governments." (Ibid.) 

In point of fact Sir Wilfrid Laurier is not reported 
to have said " between governments and governments " 
but "between government and governments." Judging 
by the context above, as well as by the previous 
correspondence with the Colonial Secretary and by 
subsequent events, the distinction between the singular 
and the plural use in Sir Wilfrid Laurier's definition 
represented a difference of real importance between 
his view and Mr. Deakin's. Sir Wilfrid Laurier seems 
to have recognised an exceptional status of the British 
Government, while Mr. Deakin postulated an equality 
of status, though not of stature, 1 between all the 
Governments represented, which is a view correspond- 
ing more logically than the other to the standpoint 
of Imperial alliance as opposed to that of Colonial 
dependence. 

Mr. Deakin went on to emphasise the importance 
of publicity in regard to the proceedings, especially 
in order that the Conference might exercise a full 
measure of the " educational influence " which Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman's concluding remarks had 
implied to be one of its chief functions. Owing to 

1 Lord Milner's expression at Manchester, Dec. 14, 1906, 






Till: IMPKIUAL CONSTITUTION 81 

the remoteness of Australia previous Conferences had 
" failed of anything like their full effect " in that 
quarter ; only a handful of politicians and others 
taking the trouhle to study the proceedings after the 
event. He could not share some of the objections 

J i_v -A. publicity 

raised to publicity : 

" Although we have been likened and happily 
likened to a Cabinet of Cabinets, we differ absolutely 
from all Cabinets inasmuch as we have not a tittle of 
executive power; and therefore the strict confidence 
necessarily observed in Cabinets has no analogical 
relation to the proceedings here. There are always 
risks in regard to publicity, and there are some matters 
in which reticence and private discussions are undoubt- 
edly desirable ; but it appears to me that the major 
part of our discussion is not of that kind. Looking at 
our agenda paper I observe that those subjects are few, 
and of those subjects only some few parts call for 
secrecy. The great bulk of our deliberations might, 
as it appears to me, be held in public, or as nearly in 
public as the sense of this Conference authorises. Of 
course there are perils in publicity, but the greatest 
risk this Conference can run is the risk of being 
ignored and misunderstood. The more it is now 
ignored, or its publication postponed, the greater will 
be the liability to misunderstandings. These, when 
once they obtain currency, are hard to correct. 
Especially is this the case when you have to travel 
half round the globe before you begin the task of 
correction, and when you undertake that task are 
subject to the daily demands of local politics, which, 
as most of us here realise, may easily tend to con- 
ceal from constituents the Imperial issues at stake." 
(R, p- 9.) 

He welcomed the British Prime Minister's sug- and for 
gestion in regard to "subsidiary" conferences; and, ary con 
without mentioning the Australian State Premiers, e 
took occasion to meet the only substantial point they 
VOL. n y 



82 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

had raised in their recent demand for admission to the 
Conference. The Subsidiary Conferences would be for 
dealing with questions of "more technical and more 
detailed character" than those appropriate to the 
Imperial Conference, and would therefore require a 
different class of representation : 

" There are many matters of this kind which can 
be better dealt with by such subsidiary Conferences. 
Some of those matters may be so better dealt with 
because such governments as Sir Wilfrid Laurier and 
myself represent, not being unitary but federal govern- 
ments, have a limited though very large jurisdiction. 
There are questions beyond their jurisdiction falling 
within the control of the local governing bodies, the 
State Governments in our case, the Provincial Govern- 
ments in the case of Canada. On certain particular 
subjects, such, for instance, as Education and an 
educational gathering of some kind is shortly to take 
place here our local governments require to be, and 
ought to be, represented." 

More His only regret was that the meeting of the Confer- 

deslder- ence coincided in time with a London season and a 
session of the British Parliament. He would have pre- 
ferred that it should meet when British Ministers were 
at leisure, and when there would be more chance of 
public attention being concentrated on the proceedings, 
which were of a character directly affecting the whole 
future of the Empire. In conclusion, he thought that 
British they might properly consider whether the British Prime 
M?nis e ter Minister, "if not the actual, ought not to be the titular 
President, head of these gatherings " ; not in order to detract 
from the position of the Colonial Secretary, but in 
order to " impress upon the public the cardinal fact 
that these are meetings of governments with govern- 
ments for the sake of the Empire." 

Sir Joseph Ward likewise endorsed the idea of 



Till: IMI'KIUAI, CONSTITUTION 83 

recognising subsidiary conferences as an ancillary 
institution. "Under the able presidency of Mr. 
Lloyd George" the Navigation Conference had 
already reached decisions on very complex matters 
which had formerly appeared to be "almost im- 
possible of solution." He pleaded for an extension 
to inter-Imperial interests of the non-party con- 
tinuity of policy which had already been attained 
in the domain of foreign affairs ; but he recognised 
the difficulties besetting the path of reform under 
the complicated conditions of the ancient social and 
political structure of the old world : 

" In our countries we can do things in a day or 
year that it naturally takes a long time to effect in the 
Old Land, and sometimes, perhaps, we are rather 
restive in wondering why it is that matters that we 
conceive to be for the good of our people in our own 
portion of the British Empire, that we think might be 
applied to the Old World itself, have been so long in 
being brought into operation." (R., p. 11.) 

Dr. Jameson, who was destined to exhibit an Jameson 
unsuspected faculty of Imperial statesmanship at this shadows 
Conference, committed himself at once in a pregnant African 
statement. He and his South African colleagues ur 
laboured under a "certain disadvantage" at these 
meetings : 

" We cannot individually speak for South Africa. 1 
We have not attained our destiny, as those two great 
Colonies, Australia and Canada, have already done. 
New Zealand, I believe, can live within itself, and 
requires no further consolidation, unless it is that 
great consolidation which this Conference, we hope, 
will take a long step towards bringing about, that 
is, the consolidation of the whole of the component 

1 The famous Selborne Report, undertaken at Dr. Jameson's request, and 
developing this theme, was shortly to be published. (June 1907.) 



84 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

parts of the Empire. But we in South Africa, I 
hope and I thoroughly believe, will minimise that 
disadvantage by the unanimity with which we will 
approach every subject which is brought forward, and 
we may further get a local advantage, I think, in 
that if possible we, seeing that we do suffer from 
that disadvantage here, will go back to our countries 
in South Africa more earnest than ever in endeavour- 
ing to consolidate our local interests, so that at our 
next Conference South Africa also shall be repre- 
sented by one representative." (R., p. 12.) 

Welcoming Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's re- 
minder that the Conference had met for " solid 
business," he hoped that some " real result " might 
be achieved. If they could agree in framing and 
passing practical resolutions they could then indi- 
vidually ask their representative Legislatures l to 
give effect to the policies thus indicated ; and so they 
might achieve " some practical step towards further 
unity, not only in the sentimental feeling, but in the 
practical material interests of the various component 
parts of the Empire." 

Mr. Moor and General Botha had not much 

to say ; perhaps feeling that they should allow 

Dr. Jameson, as representing the senior Colony in 

South Africa, to take the leading part. Finding it 

" a little difficult " to express himself in English, 

Botha's General Botha asked leave to express himself in 

mS.it- Dutch, with an interpreter. A new precedent was 



thereby created, establishing the principle of multi- 
lingualism in the Imperial Conference, corresponding 
to the bi-lingualism which has been made a condition 
of the attempt to create a territorial national unity 

1 In effect this was a reply to Mr. Deakin's declaration that the Conference 
lacked legislative or executive power. Collectively the Governments hold the 
legislative and executive power of the whole self-governing Empire, so long 
as they retain their parliamentary majorities. 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 85 

in Canada and in South Africa. There is, however, 
no reason to apprehend that any instinct of racialism 
will prompt the unnecessary introduction of lingual 
complications into the proceedings of the Conference. 
Dutch South African statesmen of future generations 
are likely to attain as complete mastery of the Eng- 
lish language as Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who is one 
of its foremost orators, or Mr. Hofmeyr and Sir 
Henry (now Baron) de Villiers in the Cape Colony. 
General Botha's brief statement possesses sufficient 
historical interest to be quoted in full : 

" The circumstances under which I am present 
here this morning are somewhat different from those 
under which the other Prime Ministers are here. 
They have all been long in the saddle in the Colonies 
which they represent. I have just got into the saddle, 
and I am not firmly seated yet. When the invitation 
arrived to attend this Conference my Government did 
not hesitate to express the opinion that the invitation 
should be accepted at once. Of course, always having 
been leader of the Boer population there, and because 
the Government have now received great privileges 
from the Imperial Government, it was a source of 
great pleasure to me to attend this Conference on 
behalf of the Transvaal people, and to prove by such 
attendance at the Conference, that the old Dutch 
population of the Transvaal would work equally 
loyally with the English people for the welfare of the 
Transvaal and of the whole British Empire. I am 
very grateful for the sentiments expressed by Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman in his address. I am 
here with an open mind on the various points raised, 
and with a fixed purpose of assisting my colleagues 
as far as I can to forward the interests of the various 
portions of the British Empire." (R., p. 13.) 

This concluded the formal opening of the session. The Con- 
The chairman (Lord Elgin) proposed that the Con- c m- 
ference should now proceed to make arrangements m 



86 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

for the conduct of its business, particularly with 
regard to the question of publicity, which had been 
raised by Mr. Deakin. By his own instructions a 
verbatim report was being taken, but the Conference 
itself would have to decide what should be done with 
it. He proposed, therefore, that they should now 
proceed to consider the matter " in Committee," if 
he might use that expression. Thereupon Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman, having thanked the Colonial 
Secretary for " allowing " him to be present, and 
the other British Ministers (except the Colonial 
Secretary), withdrew. The official report states at 
this stage : " The Ministers of the Crown having 
retired, the Conference then proceeded with its busi- 
ness in Committee." a 

QUESTION Called upon to state the case for full publicity 
PUBLICITY. Mr. Deakin had no occasion to amplify greatly what 
he had already said. Deferred publicity would not 
give the Conference the educative influence it ought 
to exercise on popular opinion in regard to Imperial 
questions. While recognising that on certain occa- 
sions it might be desirable to restrict publicity, he 
urged that " in the ordinary course and on ordinary 
subjects " either the press should be admitted as it 
had been during the preliminary proceedings or else 
a verbatim official report should be issued at the close 
of each day's sitting. 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier suggested that the practice 
of 1902 when only the " bare resolutions " were 
published at once should be followed again ; but 
that this time the full report should be issued at 
the end of the Conference. He feared that if the 
verbatim account were to be published day by day 
" there might perhaps arise a premature discussion 
upon certain matters." Lord Elgin, seizing the 

i R., p. 14. 



THE IMPERIAL CONST IT r TION 87 

opportunity to support the Canadian Premier, 
quoted Mr. Chamberlain's observation that privacy 
was essential to " perfectly free discussion," and 
agreed that it would be " inexpedient to publish 
day by day." In his view the proceedings of the 
Conference ought to take the form of " a confiden- 
tial and conversational discussion across the table." 
Further, he deemed it essential that each Member 
should have the opportunity of revising his remarks 
before publication, which would be " almost impracti- 
cable " in the case of full daily reports. 

By intervening at this early stage, instead of Lord Elgin 
waiting for the other Colonial Premiers to express 1 " 
their views, Lord Elgin had effectively blocked the 
proposal of full daily publicity. His declaration that 
any system of personal revision which naturally 
they would all desire would be almost impracti- 
cable under such conditions was in effect final, be- 
cause the Colonial Office and not the Conference 
itself had assumed responsibility for the reporting and 
secretarial work. If the Colonial Office could not do 
it, it could not be done. Accordingly Mr. Deakin rose Com- 

/Y> , i , / promise 

again to oner a compromise, viz. that a summary 01 accepted, 
the proceedings should be prepared and issued daily 
by the official secretaries, each Member being given 
an opportunity to revise the statement of his remarks. 
This compromise was finally accepted, with the under- 
standing that the full report would be issued immedi- 
ately after the end of the session. There is reason 
to think that the majority of the Premiers had been 
ready to accept Mr. Deakin's original proposal ; but 
when that was practically ruled out by the Colonial 
Secretary Mr. Deakin's compromise became the basis 
of the discussion. Sir Joseph Ward thought that 
" in the absence of the press " the best plan would 
be to issue a daily synopsis. Dr. Jameson, recog- 



&8 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

nising that it was useless to discuss full publicity, 
because " we cannot get it," supported Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier's suggestion that the full report should be 
issued immediately after the session. The Canadian 
Premier reiterated his wish that nothing beyond the 
bare resolutions passed should be published at once, 
but accepted the compromise as an experiment which 
might be tried " without coming to a formal con- 
clusion at this moment." Thus, through the early 
and decisive intervention of the Colonial Office, 
Mr. Deakin found himself " placed in a hopeless 
minority," as he said, in regard to his original pro- 
posal of full daily publicity. 

The The compromise thus reached was not effectively 

in practice, carried out, somewhat to the annoyance of those who 
had accepted it in default of full publicity. The precis 
was not, it appears, always submitted to each speaker 
for revision ; nor was it issued regularly at the close 
of each day's proceedings. Sometimes several days 
would elapse before any summary appeared, the delay 
giving rise to inaccurate rumours. On one occasion 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier objected to a summary of the 
discussion being issued before the resolution on the 
subject had been passed, 1 and this seems to have been 
accepted by the chairman as a sufficient warrant for 
withholding the precis. But there is nothing men- 
tioned in the Eeport to excuse the Colonial Office 
for not issuing a summary of the naval debate. 
In Parliament, on April 22nd, the Prime Minister 
stated that the question of publicity rested entirely 
with the Conference. Yet the standing orders 
of the Conference seem to have been ignored in 
connection with the naval discussion, which opened 
on April 23rd. That evening a summary was issued 
giving the barest outline of Lord Tweedmouth's open- 

i R., p. 83. 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 89 

ing statement, but the rest of the discussion was 
ignored to the end of the session. The naval question 
happened to be one of exceptional interest to the 
people of Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to 
some sympathetic agency, within or without the 
Colonial Office, they alone of the peoples of the 
Empire received, in the course of a day or two, a 
fairly complete summary l of what had taken place, 
in accordance with the standing orders of the Con- 
ference. This relapse into official reticence need only, 
perhaps, be so described in order to explain how the 
omission arose. The British Government had acquitted 
themselves creditably enough in the naval discussion, 
and can have had no occasion to fear publicity. It 
may be conjectured that the Colonial Office was not 
carrying out with any great enthusiasm instructions 
which were a departure from its own traditions and 
had been reluctantly adopted by its official chief at 
the instigation of the dangerous Australian. Time is 
apt to mitigate such prejudices ; but it remains to be 
seen whether a secretarial staff lodged in the Colonial 
Office, and amenable only to Britain's Colonial Secre- 
tary, can ever serve two masters and efficiently fulfil 
the mandate of the Conference. 

In retrospect Mr. Deakin's original proposal still Full pub- 
seems to be the best. A study of the full Report preferable, 
reveals nothing which might not have been published 
verbatim the same day with no more detriment to 
public or even personal interests than at the end of 
the session. Few would dispute his proposition that 
the greatest risk the Conference could run would be 
the risk of being ignored or misunderstood. The 
summaries actually issued certainly saved the Con- 
ference from being ignored, but they did not save it 
from being misunderstood in certain cases where a 

i Quoted in the Mornimj Pott, June 13, 1907. 



90 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

full report would at the time have prevented the 
misunderstanding. By the irony of fate the chief 
sufferers in this respect were Lord Elgin and Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier, who had vetoed the bolder plan. 
Through the misleading inadequacy of the official 
precis both were placed in a false position before the 
public in connection with the debate on the future 
constitution of the Conference. Again, during the 
discussion on Preference, the British Ministers would 
have gained more by full publicity through the 
avoidance of misconception than they actually 
gained by the suppression of parts of the debate 
in which they had not shown to advantage. For 
instance, Mr. Asquith, fresh from the Conference, 
ventured to declare again that Britain could give no 
preference without levying import duties on foreign 
raw materials. Thereupon Sir William Lyne, the 
Australian Minister of Trade and Customs, protested 
in a public speech that it created a very bad impres- 
sion to find a member of the British Government 
repeating this " fiction." : The public, meanwhile, were 
left in uncomfortable perplexity. But the full Report, 
when it was published some weeks afterwards, made it 
easy to understand how the astute King's Counsel, de- 
fending his professional brief with all the resources of 
a lawyer's conscience, fell foul of the plain-thinking 
and plain-speaking man of business. 

The argument for full publicity loses none of its 
from 1902. f orce if fa e se q ue l o f the 1902 session is recalled. 
When Mr. Chamberlain pleaded his unique experi- 
ence of Colonial affairs in justification of his fiscal 
campaign, his opponents denied that such was the 
Imperial situation, and asked what the Colonial 
Premiers had said to alarm him at the recent 
Conference over which he had presided. In the 

i Of. infra, Ch. XIII. 



TIIK IMPKUIAL CONSTITUTION 91 

course of the discussion in 1907 Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
expressed the opinion that the full Report of 1902 
oui^ht now to be published; but it is still with- 
held. Again, all the discussion during the recess 
(1902-1907) about the constitution of the Conference, 
especially on the question as to whether others than 
Colonial Premiers were members, and as to how India 
was represented, would have been much more valuable 
had the full Report of 1902 been available. The ques- 
tion of membership appears to have been fully discussed 
in 1902 ; but the " educative influence " of that discus- 
sion had been entirely lost, except to the handful of 
politicians who had participated in it or who enjoyed 
access to the confidential report. Why should the 
intelligent citizens of a democratic Empire have been 
kept groping in the darkness of bureaucratic secrecy 
to discover the true form of the Imperial system under 
which they lived and which they wished to develop ? 

Plausible though they appear at first sight, the objecti 
arguments for making restricted publicity the rule 
instead of the exception do not seem to stand examina- 
tion. To consider them briefly seriatim : 

(1) Much was said, though not in the Conference 
itself, about "confidential negotiations." But the 
Conference is the place not so much for confidential 
negotiations as for framing principles of joint policy. 
When the time comes for confidential negotiations, 
e.g. in regard to naval or fiscal arrangements, the 
established practice already was for the Ministers 
specially concerned to confer in private. 

(2) In regard to the principle of " perfectly free 
discussion," as postulated by Mr. Chamberlain, Lord 
Elgin, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, it has to be remembered 
that the Conference is of practical utility only in so 
far as its members speak in their official capacity as 
representing parliaments and peoples. If secrecy were 



92 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

to be maintained in order that they might express 
private opinions, the Conference would tend to become 
an academic debating society, the members committing 
themselves to views which they were not prepared 
to advocate as responsible Ministers on their return 
home. For the interchange of unofficial opinions 
among the members the social facilities of the Con- 
ference, rather than the sittings, would appear to 
aiford ample opportunity. 

(3) "If this Conference is treated as a Parliament 
you will have parliamentary speeches." That appeared 
to Mr. Deakin to be " legitimate criticism," though he 
dissented from it. It cannot be denied that the full 
publicity for which he had contended would involve a 
temptation for Members to speak to the gallery rather 
than to their colleagues, who might be presumed to 
understand more than the popular rudiments of the 
question under discussion. But this danger, which 
could be averted only by means of an established 
tradition in the Conference, is surely just as real 
when the full report is to be published immediately 
after the session as it would be if the full report 
were issued daily. It must be confessed that the 
anti-Preference speeches of the British Ministers 
seem in part to have been of the "gallery" order, 
some of the arguments being either rudimentary 
or demagogic. But the Conference having agreed 
unanimously that the full report should not be 
withheld after the end of the session, the " parliamen- 
tary speeches " argument was void. 

(4) The risk that with immediate publicity " pre- 
mature discussions " might arise outside the Confer- 
ence also seems real. But that possibility could 
hardly be more mischievous than the certainty, 
under conditions of restricted publicity, of such dis- 
cussions arising on a basis of rumour rather than 



THi: IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 93 

official fact. For example, in 1902 the alleged 
tendency of the naval discussions at the Conference 
was vigorously criticised in Australia, during the 
session, upon the strength of uncertain rumours. 

Mr. Deakin himself retained the conviction that 
full publicity would have been a better plan than 
the compromise adopted. On his return home he 
declared that the " prdcis squeezed through the key- 
hole led to misunderstandings in Australia." 1 The 
success of the Conference had lain chiefly, he declared, 
in the- "public gatherings with open doors" to which 
the delegates had been constrained to turn in order to 
gain the ear of the country. As he had contended at 
the time, secrecy was " foreign to the nature " of such 
Conferences, in which the Members were not pleni- 
potentiaries but depended entirely on the Legislatures 
they represented and on the electors who chose the 
Legislatures. 

Whatever may be the decision at future sessions, An addi- 
there is one point of view which is not likely ever to argument. 
be advanced by any member of the Conference, but 
which seems, nevertheless, to deserve mention. The 
verbatim reports of these informal discussions give a 
better insight into the personality of the individual 
speaker than could be gained by outsiders in any other 
way with so little difficulty. Being for the most part 
informal, and often impromptu, the utterances inevit- 
ably reveal the speaker's personality ; but generally in 
a more favourable light than parliamentary debates 
relating to topics of less exalted interest, and conducted 
in a party atmosphere. In the Imperial Conference the 
leading politicians of the Empire deliver themselves 
not necessarily in their best form, but necessarily in 
the best that is natural to them. For students, there- 
fore, the verbatim report has that additional value. 

1 At Perth, W. A., Jaue 19, 1907^ 



94 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

The Con- Judged by practical result, the discussion on the 
Question, question of the future constitution of the Conference 



was the most fruitful part of the session of 1907. It 
issued in a lengthy Resolution, defining closely the 
Constitution and making tentative provision for con- 
tinuity in the work of the Conference. As an aid to 
explaining the significance of the discussion and its 
result a series of diagrams, originally published by 
the Morning Post, are appended to this volume 
and may now be consulted. They are intended to 
illustrate the constitutional evolution of the Empire, 
"Colonial past and potential. Fig. 1 represents the con- 

Q6pGn." , _ i . . . _ i'i 

dence"in stitution oi the Jiinpire as it is to-day, which 

theory 

theoretically is the same as it has always been. 
Constitutionally the self-governing Colonies as well 
as the Dependencies are subordinate to Britain. 
Britain gave them their charters and could take 
them away. The King, acting on the advice of 
his British Cabinet Ministers only, might disallow 
Canadian legislation which his Canadian Ministers 
desired him to ratify. The Parliament at West- 
minster can pass laws overriding any Colonial laws 
which may be found to conflict therewith. In respect 
of the theoretical supremacy of the British Parlia- 
ment the self-governing Colonies are in the same 
constitutional plane as India and the Crown 
Colonies, as is indicated by the first diagram. 
This theoretical position alone justifies the popular 
habit of referring to the self-governing Dominions 
as " our Colonies." 1 In the diagram the Colonial 

1 Cf. Mr Chamberlain : ' ' And when I speak of our Colonies, it is an 
expression : they are not ours they are not ours in a possessory sense. 
They are sister States, able to treat with us from an equal position, able 
to hold to us, willing to hold to us, but also able to break with us. I have 
had eight years' experience. I have been in communication with many of 
the men, statesmen, orators, writers, distinguished in our Colonies. I have 
tried to understand them, and I think I do understand them, and I say that 
none of them desire separation. There are none of them who are not loyal to 



Till! IMI'KIIIAL CONSTITUTION 95 

( Mlice is shown as a section or division of the British 
Government, managing the relations of both the 
Crown Colonies and the self-governing Colonies with 
the mother country and with one another. India is 
controlled through a special department of the British 
Government ; while Egypt which in theory is still 
part of the Turkish dominions is under the Foreign 
Office. But the status of all is, generally speaking, 
Uniformly the status of countries subject to Britain ; 
so that in the diagram they all appear in the same 
plane. 

In practice, of course, the control of the British and in 
Government over the self-governing Dominions is now 
very limited. In the case of Canada it has already 
almost disappeared, the only matter in regard to 
which it is still exercised being the negotiation of 
non-commercial treaties with countries other than 
the United States. In the case of the other self- 
governing Dominions the tendency is in the same 
direction, the practical authority of the British 
Government varying inversely with the material or 
moral power of the individual Dominion to resist 
coercion. Newfoundland, for example, is more liable 
to Imperial " interference " than Canada ; and Natal 
a few years ago had to put up with a kind of bully- 
ing which no British Government would venture to 
attempt against united South Africa. One of the 
chief incentives to union in South Africa was, in 
fact, the desire to attain a stronger position for 
resisting the interference of the British Government 
and Parliament. Such being the tendency in prac- 
tice of constitutional development, sooner or later 
the forms of the Constitution will have to adapt 

this idea of Empire which they say they wish us to accept more fully in the 
future, but I have found none of them who do not believe that our present 
Colonial relations cannot be permanent. We must either draw closer together 
or we shall drift apart." A t Glasgow, Oct. 6, 1903. 



96 

themselves to the accomplished facts. Even were 
there never any grievance in practice, the sentiment 
of the self-governing Dominions would eventually 
compel a formal change to be made. With their 
vast natural resources of wealth, and with their 
growing indigenous populations of the European 
type, the larger among them are severally develop- 
ing a national consciousness of their own the sense 
of a national individuality and possibly a national 
destiny distinct from that of the mother country. 
This instinct frets at the inferiority of the Colonial 
status and demands a recognition of the kind that 
is accorded to nations outside the Empire. Inde- 
pendent foreign countries conduct their own relations 
with the rest of the world, thereby shaping their own 
destinies instead of being kept in leading-strings. 
However small and weak, they are admitted to a 
nominal equality of rank with the Great Powers. 
Their inferiority is one not of status but of stature. 
The self-governing Dominions, being constitutionally 
the subject dependencies of Britain, are treated as 
such in international affairs. It was only the other 
day that the United States began to see advantages 
in direct negotiation with Canada, instead of trying 
as heretofore to bring pressure on her through the 
British Government. But neither Canada nor any 
other Dominion has received similar recognition at 
the hands of any other foreign Power. As the 
Dominions grow in material greatness they natur- 
ally wish to grow likewise in political dignity. 1 
"im- In the abstract the most scientific solution of the 

problem would be Imperial Federation, implying 
that Britain should combine with the self-governing 
Dominions to set up a joint federal government, 
in which each of the federating units would be 

1 Cf. The Kingdom of Canada, by J. S. Ewart, K.C., Toronto, 1908, 



HIE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 97 

on a constitutional equality. This would mean pro- 
motion for the Dominions, in so far as they would 
; ;ic 1 1 lire a full proportional share of control over foreign 
policy and the corresponding policy of defence. But 
it would mean demotion for Britain, who would 
surrender her monopoly of those privileges or re- 
sponsibilities, together with her exclusive right of 
overriding Colonial laws. If the Federal Government 
were given the same supremacy over the State Govern- 
ments which the British Government in theory enjoys 
to-day, the State Governments (including that of 
Britain) would be connected with the Crown through 
the Federal Government alone. But if, as would 
certainly happen, the federating units insisted on 
being recognised as " sovereign " States entering 
the federation upon their own initiative and surren- 
dering only certain well-defined powers to the central 
authority then each of the federated States would in 
future have a double connection with the Crown ; first 
direct, and secondly through the Federal Government. 
Fig. 3 illustrates this federal system. 

It would not be necessary to admit the non-self- 
governing Dependencies to federal rights. They 
might remain subject to the same suzerain Govern- 
ments as at present (Fig. 1), Britain governing India, 
and Australia governing Papua. Or, they might be 
transferred to the charge of the Federal Government, 
as represented in Fig. 3, just as the Philippine 
Islands are administered by the Federal Government 
of the United States. But if some day India and 
the other dependencies (in suitable groups) should be 
raised to the plane of self-government, and so become 
qualified to participate in the federal institutions of 
the Empire, then Imperial Federation would take the 
form indicated by Fig. 4. Here the Federal Govern- 
ment is half-shaded, implying that the " colour pre- 

VOL. II G 



98 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

judice " has so far ceased to operate that Asiatics and 
Africans are associated equally with Europeans in the 
government of the Empire. In the same way South 
Africa is half-shaded in Fig. 4, implying that the 
Natives and Asiatics who together outnumber the 
whites several times over are sharing in the govern- 
ment of the country. This last diagram is labelled 
" The Millennium." 

The All Imperialists nowadays agree that the consti- 

tution of the Empire cannot be changed from Fig. 1 
to Fig. 4, or even to Fig. 3, at a single stroke. When 
brought to the point Britain clings tenaciously to her 
monopoly of international power, pleading that this 
cannot be shared with the Colonies so long as they 
play so small a part in Imperial Defence. As Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman insisted, " the cost of 
naval defence and the responsibility for the conduct 
of foreign affairs hang together." * The Dominions on 
their side, until they obtain a large increase of popu- 
lation, feel that they would be swamped by Britain 
in any federal parliament. Nor is the new national 
consciousness sufficiently mature in any of them for 
the exceptional advantage of their present position in 
regard to expenditure upon armaments to be lightly 
surrendered. Thus a dilemma has arisen. On the 
one hand the self-governing countries of the Empire 
are consciously though reluctantly drifting apart : on 
the other hand they are not yet prepared to check the 
drift once for all by severally exchanging national 
independence for federal union. 

In these circumstances practical Imperialists have 
endeavoured to discover some plan by which the self- 
governing units may draw closer together consistently 
with the principle of national autonomy, and without 
rendering Imperial Federation either a necessity or an 

1 Supra, p. 77. 



Till-: IMIT.UIAI. OONSTTTUTION 99 

inijx.ssil)ility hereafter. An "open door" for posterity 
is the essence of the idea, not a strait waistcoat. On 
the economic side, which is always incomparably the 
most important, the proposed compromise is mutual 
preference in trade, based on national tariffs framed 
by each country to suit its own needs. This would 
promote a solidarity of material interests without de- 
priving any self-governing State of control over its 
own fiscal policy, except to the extent that is im- 
plied in any form of commercial agreement l between 
any two independent countries whatsoever. It would 
neither prevent nor necessitate the future adoption of 
Free Trade within the Empire, which is the system 
logically associated with Imperial Federation. 

Politically, a compromise which many Imperialists 
think would be practicable is illustrated by Fig. 2. 
Here the self-governing Dominions are represented as 
enjoying an equality of status with the United King- 
dom the principle for which some of the Colonial 
Premiers contended in 1907. Their proposed Imperial 
Secretariat is shown in Fig. 2 in a form corresponding 
to the principle of equality of status ; but in Fig. 1 it 
is shown in the very different form in which it was 
actually created as a result of that session. In neither 
case is the Imperial Secretariat an organic part of the 
Imperial structure. In Fig. 2, representing " Imperial "imperial 
Partnership," it consists of five divisions (one for each 
nation-State), separate though contiguous, each division 
being controlled by the Government of the country 
which it represents. Under this system (Fig. 2) the 
only constitutional bond of Empire would be the 
Crown, which would thus occupy a much more im- 

i Canadian policy has recently illustrated both of the alternative forms of 
commercial bargains, viz. (a) a " treaty," like the Franco-Canadian treaty of 
1907, or (6) an agreement resting on concurrent legislation only, like the 
American-Canadian agreement of 1911. Both forms have been suggested 
as appropriate to Imperial Reciprocity. 



100 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

portant position than under the systems exemplified 
by any of the other three diagrams. Alike in 1,2, 
and 4, the Crown might be lopped off without dissi- 
pating the whole structure, because other constitu- 
tional ties would remain ; whereas in Fig. 2 to take 
away the Crown would be to dissolve the Empire. 
The recent announcement of the Duke of Connaught's 
appointment to Canada seems to signify an important 
step in the direction of Fig. 2. It is difficult to 
imagine that so near a relative of the Sovereign could 
be as dependent upon the support and advice of 
British Ministers as the ordinary kind of Governor- 
General. " His Majesty's Government of Canada," 
to cite the new official expression, seem now to be 
asserting the same direct connection with the Crown 
as belongs to His Majesty's Government of the United 
Kingdom. 

A glance at the diagrams will show that Fig. 2 is 
a step towards Fig. 3 in so far as equality of status 
has been established between the United Kingdom 
and the self-governing Dominions. 1 But if the Secre- 
tariat in Fig. 2 could not develop into the Federal 
Government in Fig. 3, then the relationship between 
the partner nations of the Empire would in principle 
resemble that subsisting between foreign countries in 
alliance. In the Imperial Conference, with its auxil- 
iary Secretariat, they would have their ambassadors 
permanently assembled together to discuss their joint 
affairs. The only exceptional features, from the 
standpoint of alliance, would be the common Crown 
and the unusually wide range of matters regulated by 
joint or co-ordinated policy. 

1 The essentials of a federal system are, as Mr. Deakin has pointed out, 
two: (1) equality of status as between the federating ^Governments ; (2) a 
direct relation of citizen to citizen under the federal Government, irrespective 
of the State Governments. This second essential is absent in " Imperial 
Partnership " or alliance, there being no federal authority. 



TIM-: i.Mrr.m.M. mssTiTrTioN 101 

But whatever might be the probable direction of The 
subsequent development, some such idea as that repre- Resolution 
sented by Fig. 2 may be detected behind much of the 
discussion, as conducted by the Colonial Premiers at 
the session of 1907, about the future constitution of 
the Conference. Perhaps the easiest way to present 
the main features of the discussion is to begin by 
quoting the resolution which was ultimately adopted 
by a unanimous vote : 

" That it will be to the advantage of the Empire 
if a Conference, to be called the Imperial Conference, 
is held every four years, at which questions of common 
interest may be discussed and considered as between 
His Majesty's Government and His Governments of the 
self-governing Dominions beyond the Seas. The Prime 
Minister of the United Kingdom will be ex-officio 
President and the Prime Ministers of the self-governing 
Dominions ex-officio members of the Conference. The 
Secretary of State for the Colonies will be an ex-officio 
member of the Conference, and will take the chair in 
the absence of the President. He will arrange for such 
Imperial Conferences after communication with the 
Prime Ministers of the respective Dominions. 

"Such other Ministers as the respective Govern- 
ments may appoint will also be members of the Con- 
ferenceit being understood that, except by special 
permission of the Conference, each discussion will be 
conducted by not more than two representatives from 
each Government, and that each Government will have 
only one vote. . . . 

"That upon matters of importance requiring con- 
sultation between two or more Governments which 
cannot conveniently be postponed until the next Con- 
ference, or involving subjects of a minor character 
or such as call for detailed consideration, subsidiary 
Conferences should be held between representatives 
of the Governments concerned specially chosen for the 
purpose." 

The above is the main part of the Resolution by The 
which, after a protracted and somewhat confused 



102 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

debate, the Conference defined its own constitution. 
The omitted section, relating to the creation of a 
secretarial staff, has been held over for separate con- 
sideration later on. Throughout the discussion, and 
especially in the part relating to the secretarial staff, 
a clear division of Imperial thought may be traced 
between the Colonial Office, on the one side, and on 
the other side the school represented by Mr. Deakin. 
The contrast is that between the first two of the 
diagrams in the Appendix, depicting respectively 
" Colonial Dependence and " Imperial Partnership." 
The Colonial Office appeared to stand consistently for 
the former ; Mr. Deakin for the latter. Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier is not so easily placed ; but seems finally 
and paradoxically if the peculiar circumstances of his 
position are ignored to have ranged himself with the 
Colonial Office. Sir Joseph Ward, Dr. Jameson, and 
General Botha, though appearing to dissent more or 
less from Mr. Deakin's view, are found in the end 
to have reached, by a different path, much the same 
ground as the Australian Premier. 

"Con- The first question to be discussed was whether 

"Council." the old title " Colonial Conference " should be changed 
to "Imperial Council" as proposed by Mr. Deakin 
and Sir Joseph Ward. The most comprehensive 
resolution before the meeting was that of the Aus- 
tralian Government, which Mr. Deakin proceeded to 
explain. " Our object," he declared, " is to retain 
the Conferences as they are at present in respect to 
their authority, to their constitution, and to their 
periodical meetings." ] The only reasons he gave for 
the proposed change was that the previous Imperial 
Government had suggested it, and that it would be 
appropriate in so far as "Council" might serve to 
stamp the institution with the impress of a more 

1 R., p. 27. 



TIM-; IMI'KKIAL CONSTITUTION lo:> 

-ul.ir ' and "permanent" existence than " Con- 
i'nvnce." Mr. Deakin's conception seemed to be that 
tin; Conference of Governments should be regarded 
as having a continuous existence even when the 
members of it were scattered. 

But Imperial " Council " already possessed too de- 
finite and unfavourable a connotation in Sir Wilfrid council. 
Laurier's mind * for him to be able to welcome the 
proposed change of title, even when Mr. Deakin had 
assured the meeting that as the very terms of his 
Resolution showed there was no idea of changing the 
constitution of the Conference. Throughout the de- 
bate Sir Wilfrid Laurier although he expressed a 
desire to approach the question with an "open mind" 
kept referring back to the Lyttelton despatch, in the 
light of which, with the shadow of the Pollock scheme 
across it, he seems to have interpreted the Australian 
proposal. As for the Colonial Office, Lord Elgin 
came prepared with an elaborate brief against the 
plan of " establishing a new body with powers inde- 
pendent of the Conference." ' His argument was Elgin's 
a defence of the principle of Colonial self-government bogey, 
against the dangers of this purely imaginary scheme. 
Clearly there was something curiously abnormal in 
the situation when the Colonial Secretary was found 
championing Colonial self-government against a 
threatened invasion of it by Colonial Prime Ministers, 
including those of the most democratic among the 
Dominions. The paradox becomes perspicuous when 
it is remembered that Lord Elgin was never an 
imaginative statesman, and that the Colonial Office 
was fighting for self-preservation. The Colonial 
Secretary seems to have been furnished by his 
departmental advisers with an elaborate bogey for 

i R., p. 29, &c. i R., p. 36. 



104 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

him to exhibit, and rend amid the plaudits of those 
whom he would rescue from the dragon. 

Lord Elgin, acting in perfectly good faith, was 
embarrassed by the discovery that the case supplied 
to him by his departmental advisers was based 
on entirely fictitious premises, and that he was 
beating a dead horse. " In what I have said 
hitherto," he somewhat pathetically explained, ;< I 
have no doubt rather assumed that I was speaking 
of what I imagine possibly might be the idea under- 
lying the New Zealand resolution as to an Imperial 
Council in place of the Conference." l Unfortunately 
this confession was never mentioned in the official 
precis of the discussion, so that those outside who 
had noted the contents of the published resolutions 
were given the impression that Lord Elgin was 
deliberately misrepresenting the Australian proposals. 
Full publicity would have saved him from the mis- 
understanding. But his appeal in excuse to the very 
vague New Zealand resolution, on to which he had 
tried to cast the responsibility for the alleged attack 
Bogey on Colonial autonomy, was not agreeable to Sir Joseph 
atod by Ward, who emphatically repudiated the imputation : 

" I have not suggested at any time in our country 
that we should be responsible for the creation of 
an Imperial Council which should have executive 
authority, because I am personally opposed to it. ... 
I do not wish the impression to go abroad that I have 



1 R., p. 37. As has been seen (supra, p. 55), Sir Joseph Ward's original 
idea of an Imperial Council seemed to be essentially different from that of the 
Australian Eesolution. But at the Conference he accepted from the outset the 
main principle of the Australian Resolution as expounded by Mr. Deakin, i.e. 
the maintenance of the Conference on its existing basis, with a supplemental 
secretarial staff, as opposed to any alteration of the basis or the creation of 
any advisory body. But he appeared, differing from Mr. Deakin, to accept 
the Colonial Office as a satisfactory department in regard to its existing 
functions, which the secretariat was to supplement rather than take over. 



TIIK i\ii'i;m.\L mxsTiTrTioN 105 

proposed establishing anything of the kind, because I 
Inivo not. In that respect I wish to say that the 
criticisms . . . really do not apply." (R, p. 45.) 

The mischief had, however, been done ; Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier and General Botha being apparently impressed 
with the notion that the sacred principle of self- 
government was threatened. That the Colonial 
OH ice should have succeeded in frightening only the 
two Premiers who were of non-British race illustrates 
once more the importance of eliminating racial senti- Advantage 
ment from the theory or plan of closer Imperial union, sympathy. 
Mutual understanding and confidence naturally are 
more easily established among men of the same race 
than among those whose primary instincts are in- 
herited from different histories. Accordingly the 
Imperial movement should direct its appeal not to 
racial sentiment but to reason, relying on the develop- 
ment of material and moral interests held in common. 
Had it not been for the gulf of racial difference, the 
intuition of the Canadian and Transvaal Premiers 
would have forbidden them to imagine, even on the 
authority of the Colonial Office, that their Austral- 
asian and South African colleagues were a whit more 
likely than themselves to plot or abet the destruction 
of Colonial autonomy. That Lord Elgin should him- 
self have been susceptible to so ludicrous an in- 
spiration may be attributed to the nervousness of British 
the Government to which he belonged in regard to Traders 
the subject of Preferential Trade. To their anxious m 
mind it may have seemed conceivable, if not actually 
probable, that the Australasian Premiers were plan- 
ning to create a new body which would have the 
power and inclination to impose by its own fiat the 
policy of Preference on the United Kingdom. 1 

1 Some rather wild rumours to this effect had obtained currency in a 
section of the press ; evoking a protest from the Afominy Post, April 10, 1907. 



106 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Colonial" The Australasian representatives withdrew the 
proposal to call the Conference a council the moment 
they found that Sir Wilfrid Laurier was opposed to 
it. The general feeling seems to have been that, as 
Dr. Jameson remarked, 1 nothing should be done 
except by unanimous agreement. But all agreed 
that "Imperial" should be substituted for "Colonial" 
Conference. The justification for this change was not 
that India was or should be represented (a fallacy 



india! to which some currency had been given in outside 
discussions), but, as Sir Wilfrid Laurier expressly 
pointed out, 2 that the Conference included representa- 
tives of the Imperial Government "Imperial," 3 be- 
cause it governs India and other dependencies, and 
controls the foreign relations of the whole Empire. 
The Resolution, following in this respect that of 1902, 
restricted the right of membership of the Conference 
to self-governing States, thus confirming the demo- 
cratic basis of Imperial organisation. When Mr. 
Asquith casually referred to Sir J. Mackay as " repre- 
senting" India, Mr. Deakin interjected, "He represents 
the British Government." 4 Thus by the decision of 
two successive Conferences the principle was estab- 
lished that for the present purposes of Imperial 
organisation the interests of non -self-governing States 
are entrusted to the suzerain Government, which 
would generally but not necessarily or invariably be 
that of Britain. 

Quad- The principle of holding the meetings quadrenni- 

ally had been laid down in the Resolution of 1902, 
and was now merely reaffirmed. This point seemed 

1 R., p. 33. Of. Chamberlain, infra, p. 78. 2 R., p. 29. 

= According to Sir Frederick Pollock (Colonial Institute, April 11, 1905), 
" Imperial" as applied to the Imperial Parliament "is only a survival of the 
mediaeval protests against the King of England being supposed inferior to the 
Emperor, and the Reformation protests against papal jurisdiction." 

4 R., p. 294. 



Till: IMIM.KIAI. CONSTI'IT'I'ION 107 

t< l.c overlooked in Urilisli ministerial circles, when; 
tin- ii( rision to meet every four years was hailed as a 
striking step in advance. Lord Elgin himself said of 
the 1907 gathering, "We meet under the resolution 
of the last Conference." * The question of the interval 
was, however, reopened ; some members, especially Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier, wishing to have it lengthened so as to 
make the meetings occur less frequently. Mr. Deakin, 
1 tacked by Dr. Jameson, protested, 2 on the ground 
that it was Imperially desirable not to minimise the 
importance of the Conference. General Botha would 
have preferred a five-year interval; Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier warning him that he would " find in prac- 
tice great inconvenience " 3 in more frequent meetings. 
Thanks, however, to Mr. Deakin's intervention, it was 
agreed to maintain the four-year period. 

Attention has already been called to the difference " Between 
between Sir Wilfrid Laurier's and Mr. Deakin's con- 
ception in regard to the status of the several Govern- 
ments represented. The Canadian Premier had 
defined it as a conference " between Government 
and Governments," differentiating the British Govern- 
ment from the Colonial Governments collectively. 
Mr. Deakin, on the other hand, had defined it as 
" between Governments and Governments," allowing 
no superiority of status to the British Government. 
The practical importance of this difference in view was 
destined to come out very clearly, as will presently be 
seen, in connection with the proposed Secretariat. 
According to Mr. Deakin, all the Governments should 
be regarded as equal qua Governments, the only 
differences between them being those of " seniority 
and scope." On this principle Britain would rank 
above Canada, the British Government being both 
senior and of wider scope ; Canada above the Aus- 

1 R., p. 35. R., pp. 57-8. 3 R., p. 58. 



108 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

tralian Commonwealth, by virtue of seniority ; the 
Commonwealth above the Union of South Africa, 
again by virtue of seniority ; the Union above New 
Zealand, by virtue of "scope" in a territorial or 
material sense ; and New Zealand likewise above 
Newfoundland, which has a far smaller potentiality 
of separate national existence than any of the others, 
owing to its comparatively restricted area and natural 
resources, and its proximity to the huge Dominion. 
But Sir Wilfrid Laurier's definition most accurately 
expressed the existing fact ; while Mr. Deakin's, illus- 
trating the wish as father to the thought, was postu- 
lating conditions not yet realised. 

The phrase "His Governments of the self-governing 
not! 1 " Colo- Dominions beyond the Seas " is noteworthy in respect 
of the words italicised. The original draft, submitted 
by the Colonial Office, was "the Governments of the 
self-governing Colonies." 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Mr. Deakin, and Sir Joseph 
Ward all objected to " Colonies," and tried to hit 
upon some designation which would differentiate their 
young nations from the Crown Dependencies. In 
default of a better suggestion they accepted " Do- 
minions," which in a more comprehensive sense was 
already included in the King's title. In the singular 
the term had long been appropriated by Canada, to 
whose seniority Mr. Deakin regarded its adoption by 
the Conference as a compliment. At the Colonial 
Office the innovation was deplored, Lord Elgin speak- 
ing regretfully of the old tradition at a gathering 1 
soon after the close of the session. " Beyond the 
Seas " was added to qualify " Dominions " in the first 
occurrence of the term, which afterwards is used alone. 
The Colonial Secretary urged that "self-governing 
Dominions" without the qualification would include 

1 At the Corona Club, June 19, 1907. 



109 

the United Kingdom ; and throughout the discussion 
he jealously guarded the distinction between the 
United Kingdom and the Colonies collectively. It is 
easy to believe that his official advisers had earnestly 
drawn his attention to that point. 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier objected to the implication in "Hit 
the original draft that " His Majesty's Government " Govern*- * 
was a title appropriate to the Government of the" 1 
United Kingdom exclusively. He proposed substi- 
tuting "the Government of the United Kingdom," 
because " we all claim to be His Majesty's Govern- 
ment." } Lord Elgin, again scenting equality of status, 
protested that " His Majesty's Government " was in 
fact a recognised technical term for that one Govern- 
ment. 2 The compromise which appears in the Resolu- 
tion was finally adopted on the suggestion of Dr. 
Jameson. 3 

The appointment of the Prime Minister of theThePresi- 
United Kingdom as ex-qfficio President was an inno- chair 
vation which the Colonial Premiers advocated as a s lp ' 
means of impressing the public mind with the idea 
that the Conference was one between Governments as 
such. " Ex-offido " was adopted from the Australian 
resolution, Mr. Deakin explaining that it was intended 
to cover the contingency of a Prime Minister being 
unable to attend, in which case he might send a 
deputy. As regards the chairmanship which was 
assigned to the Secretary of State for the Colonies 
in the absence of the titular President Mr. Deakin 
suggested 4 that the Resolution should be so worded 
as to admit of the senior Prime Minister (e.g. Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier in 1907) taking the chair on occasion. 
Lord Elgin, however, argued that " a member of the 
British Government would be the most convenient 

1 R., p. so. ibid. 

3 R., p. 90. K., pp. 42, 60. 



110 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

man to choose," 1 while Sir Wilfrid Laurier himself 
thought that 

" according to the fitness of things, and according to 
what is accepted now, that this is a Conference between 
Government and Governments, the chairman should 
be a member of the British Government." (R., p. 61.) 

Whenever the reluctance of the Colonial Secretary 
to take a step in advance was strongly shared by any 
Colonial member of the Conference, the others would 
not press the controversy. Hence the conservative 
view was accepted on more than one occasion when 
probably there was really a majority in favour of a 
more progressive course. 
Right of The second paragraph of the Resolution, regulating 

the position of Ministers other than Prime Ministers 
and the Colonial Secretary, recognises a logical 
corollary of the principle that the conferring parties 
are Governments and not individuals merely. As 
has been seen, in 1902 the Colonial Premiers and the 
British Secretary of State for the Colonies were alone 
regarded as full members of the Conference, other 
Ministers of the British and Colonial Governments 
being invited to participate only when their special 
subjects were under discussion. Henceforth, 2 how- 
ever, other Ministers were to be full members, attend- 
ing throughout, though speaking only when asked to 
do so by their respective chiefs. 

By the Resolution eaoh Government was given 
power to appoint other Ministers to assist the Prime 
Minister. This authorisation seems to render super- 
fluous the provision in the first paragraph that 
Colonial Britain's Colonial Secretary should be an ex-officio 
privileged, member. Without that provision, the British Prime 

1 R., p. 6i. 

2 Sir W. Laurier did not regard this point as having been definitely settled 
at the first meeting. R., p. 84. 






Tin: iMi'F.m.M. OONfirTPTOTION ill 

Minister might at any time have appointed the 
Colonial Secretary to be a member. As the Resolu- 
tion stands, the British Colonial Secretary is the only 
Minister, outside the circle of Prime Ministers, who is 
an ex-officio member of the Conference in his own 
right. It appears that the Colonial Office, in drafting 
the Resolution, took care to assign an exceptional 
status to its own chief. 1 

Subject to the vital principle of " one Government 
one vote," which had been recognised at previous 
sessions, 2 it is obviously a mere matter of expediency 
how many representatives a single Government may 
send. On the one hand, the debate on a special sub- 
ject, ('..(). Defence, becomes more practical if the 
several Ministers in charge of that department are 
there to take part. On the other hand, the Confer- 
ence might tend to become unwieldy 3 and formal if 
the numbers were too large for round- table discussion. 
Hence the compromise, as defined in the Resolution. 

But there was never a sign of any disposition to Non- 
admit non-Ministers as members of the Conference, excluded. 
The point was accidentally raised at an early stage by 

1 The bias of the Colonial Office is exemplified in the form of the official 
Report. After the report of the opening meeting, which has already been 
noticed (p. 75), the proceedings of each day are prefaced with a statement of 
those " present," i.e. as members of the Conference. This list gives the 
names of the Colonial Secretary (as "President"), the Premiers and other 
Colonial Ministers. It is in each case followed by a supplementary list of 
Hiose "also present," which includes any other Ministers of the British 
Government. Thus, despite Lord Elgin's own statement in the preliminary 
correspondence (p. 34) that the additional British Ministers attended on 
t h< same footing as the additional Colonial Ministers, and despite the Resolu- 
tion of the Conference confirming that theory, the officials of the Colonial 
Office in preparing the Report could not apparently bring themselves to 
bracket e.y. the British Minister for War or President of the Board of Trade 
with mere Colonial Ministers, as ordinary members of the Conference. Under- 
secretaries, moreover, whether Parliamentary (e.y. Mr. Winston Churchill) or 
Permanent (e.y. Sir Fmncis Hopwood), are listed in company with the 
Colonial Ministers as though enjoying the same status, whereas in reality 
Under-Secretaries had no status of membership in the Confernn-' . 

1 Vol. i. p. 103, rf. Sir W. Laurier, R., p 90. 3 Lord Elgin, R., p. 16. 



112 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

General Botha's request 1 that Sir Richard Solomon 
(then Agent-General for the Transvaal and after- 
wards High Commissioner in London for the Union 
of South Africa) might be allowed to sit beside him 
and assist him. General Botha put forward this 
request with unconcealed diffidence, protesting that 
he was most anxious to avoid suggesting a " wrong 
principle." Sir Wilfrid Laurier intervened at once 
to say that the concession would be inadmissible. 
It might have been different, he thought, had Sir 
Richard Solomon been a mere secretary ; but his 
own recollection of previous practice was that even 
the private secretaries of Ministers had to wait out- 
side the door, within call of their chiefs. Other 
members expressed a wish that their private secre- 
taries should be allowed to sit within reach, in order 
to facilitate the handling of papers. But General 
Botha naturally did not press his request. Had he 
been " longer in the saddle " he might have begun to 
catch the infection of distrust or jealousy of Agents- 
General, which appears to have become characteristic 
of several Colonial Parliaments, 2 and which thus 
presents an obstacle to schemes for utilising High 
Commissioners in London (as Agents-General of 
nation-States are termed) 3 in connection with im- 
proved machinery of Imperial organisation. 
Subsidiary Subsidiary Conferences, as provided for in the last 
eneesT part of the Resolution, are the only portion of the 
revised Imperial machinery for which the responsi- 

1 R., p. 17. 

2 The long delay in appointing a High Commissioner for the Common- 
wealth may be attributed partly to this feeling. 

s Some confusion now attends the use of the term " High Commissioner " 
in connection with South Africa, since the Governor- General of the Union is 
High Commissioner to the British Government (in respect of Rhodesia and 
the Native Protectorates), while the Union Government maintains a High 
Commissioner in London. There are thus two High Commissioners of South 
Africa holding quite different offices, and serving different Governments. 



Till: IMI'KKIAI. CONSTITUTION 11; 

bility of initiation can be assigned to the British 
Government. At least it is not recorded that any 
of the Colonial Premiers had prompted Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman's allusion to the matter in his 
address of welcome, although it is known that there 
had been some preliminary interviews. Mr. Deakin's 
arguments in approval of the idea have already 
been quoted. But Sir Wilfrid Laurier objected l 
strongly to any provision being made by the Govern- 
ments there assembled for subsidiary Conferences 
of subordinate local Governments. He apprehended 
that such an arrangement might encourage the local 
Governments to dispute the supremacy of the national 
Government. For example, supposing the Provincial 
representatives from Canada were to call in question 
the terms of the Act under which the control of the 
Provinces over Education is limited ? He mentioned 
that at that very time the Government of British 
Columbia were petitioning the Imperial authorities 
against the Dominion Government ; 2 and he did not 
desire to encourage that sort of thing. In passing Nation- 
it may be noted that this criticism illustrates the proper 
Ottawa conception of the nature of the Home Rule ur 
which Canadians are supposed to favour officially 
as a solution of the Irish question. The modern 
tendency at Ottawa is to restrict provincial auto- 
nomy and to expand the federal jurisdiction. 3 But 
as regards the question before the Imperial Con- 
ference, Sir Wilfrid Laurier's point of view coincided 
with the interests of Imperial partnership. He was 
asserting, in effect, the importance of recognising the 
national rather than the provincial Governments of 

1 R., p. 93. 

* In regard to the financial relations of the Province with the federal 
Government. The Premier, Mr. McBride, visited London. 

3 Kg. contrast the constitutions of the new Provinces of Alberta and 
Saskatchewan with those of the original Provinces of the Dominion. 

VOL. II H 



114 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

the Empire as the proper units of Imperial organisa- 
tion. That principle was not then being admitted 
whole-heartedly by the new Government in Downing 
Street, though it seems to have been recognised by 
Mr. Chamberlain when he acquiesced in the practice 
of making the Commonwealth the medium of com- 
munication with the Australian States, to which the 
State Premiers took exception. 1 In connection with 
the delegation from British Columbia, to which Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier was alluding, the Under-Secretary 
for the Colonies stated in Parliament 2 that it should 
not be supposed that the Imperial Government would 
always, in such cases, support the national as against 
the local authority in the Colonies. For the British 
Government to reserve that right of discrimination 
is surely a pernicious principle, more appropriate to 
the policy of divide et impera than to that of evolving 
an Imperial partnership of nation-States. Aggrieved 
local governments have their remedy in the courts of 
law, all the Constitutions of the Dominions being 
based on Acts of Parliament. There could be no 
more likely source of friction than any assumption 
by British Ministers of a power of arbitration between 
local and national authorities in the Dominions. 
Subsidiary I n Sir Wilfrid Laurier's opinion the provision 
enceare- about Subsidiary Conferences was wholly superfluous ; 
cognised, ^he national Governments already having full power 
to institute conferences of this kind as occasion might 
arise, e.g. the recent example of the Navigation Con- 
ference. Mr. Churchill, however, replied that 

" the Resolution really constitutes one of the instru- 
ments of Imperial organisation, and from a public 
point of view it is calculated to interest the public 
as showing how far the work has proceeded." (R., 
pp. 77-8.) 

1 Cd. 3340, p. 19. 2 j un e 13, 1907. 



THK I.MPKKIAL ('<)NSTITrTI<>\ 11 .1 

This seems to have expressed the general view. Later 
on it was resolved to hold a Subsidiary Conference, " if 
necessary," on the subject of Naturalisation. The same 
procedure was suggested in connection with Patents. 
Tho British Government also betrayed some idea of 
escaping from the Canadian " all-red " mail-service 
proposition through the same loophole. But a Sub- 
sidiary Conference should not be regarded as an 
"instrument" for placing thorny questions on the 
shelf. The Navigation Conference arrived at con- 
clusions sufficiently definite to form the basis of 
legislation in Australasia, and the Subsidiary Con- 
ference on Defence in 1909 was equally fruitful of 
important results. At the same time, Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier's objection, that the Empire needed no 
additional power of this kind, was very intelligible as 
coming from a Dominion whose traditional Imperial 
policy was that of " doing things together," and 
leaving the machinery to be erected only when the 
practical need arose. Just as the Pacific cable 
partnership led to the creation of the Pacific Cable 
Board, so the adoption of Imperial Reciprocity might 
provide a motive hitherto absent for elaborating the 
machinery of inter-Imperial consultation. 

The section not yet quoted of the constitutional The secre- 

T> ii tanat. 

Resolution ran as follows : 

"That it is desirable to establish a system by 
which the several Governments represented shall be 
kept informed during the periods between the Con- 
ferences in regard to matters which have been or may 
be subjects for discussion by means of a permanent 
secretarial staff, charged, under the direction of the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, with the duty of 
obtaining information for the use of the Conference, 
of attending to its resolutions, and of conducting 
correspondence on matters relating to its affairs." 



116 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Space again forbids any attempt to follow the dis- 
cussion step by step. It was protracted, overlapping 
the discussion of the other parts of the subject. The 
general impression conveyed by a close study of it 
is, that of the principal speakers Dr. Jameson had 
the clearest idea of the proposals which he was advo- 
cating or criticising. 

Mr. Deakm, whose mind always appeared to be 
working at lightning speed, seems to have handi- 
capped his own proposal at the outset by attempting 
to combine two distinct ideas in a single scheme, 
despite the efforts of Dr. Jameson to keep them apart. 
The proposed Secretariat, according to the Australian 
Premier's exposition, was to serve as a link not only 
between the intermittent Conferences but also between 
the Governments, superseding on occasion the Colonial 
Office for that purpose : 

" We propose a Secretariat with a view to the con- 
sultation through it of the various members of this 
Conference, or of the Prime Ministers and others who 
would be members of the Conference in the intervals 
between their meetings ; to enable suggestions to pro- 
ceed from one or more or all of them through the 
Secretariat to each other and to the Government of 
this country, in order that questions likely to be dealt 
with at the succeeding meeting may be examined some 
time ahead, and that all necessary information and 
inquiries may be made and views exchanged, so that 
the proposition, after reflection, may either be pressed, 
modified, or abandoned when the Conference is entered 
upon. Under these circumstances, instead of meet- 
ing as we do to-day with only a very imperfect relation 
to the Conferences which have preceded this, and 
instead of taking up the questions before us in an 
elementary fashion, we should have an agenda of partly 
or completely prepared, and sometimes partly digested 
matters. . . . 

" The action of the Secretariat would be subject, as 



THE IMPKKIAL CONSTITUTION 117 

I have always said, to the roal authorities without whom 
no action is proposed to be taken, that is to say, in 
eacli self-governing community, to that community 
itself; until its assent was given in the ordinary way 
by law or by executive act, as the case might be, there 
would be no power in the Secretariat to ask for or to 
direct any action. The Secretariat would be merely an 
aiiency for carrying out the instructions of one Confer- 
ence and for acting as an intermediary at the sugges- 
tion of any Prime Minister or any Government or 
Governments in order to prepare for the next Con- 
ference or between its meetings. 

" Let me say in conclusion that there are some 
matters of foreign politics, for instance, which occasion- 
ally touch closely either every Dependency or some of 
the Dependencies of the Empire, and amongst them 
some or all of the self-governing communities. At the 
present time any communication on those matters is 
indirect of necessity, but it is also impeded by other 
considerations. We may appear officious; we may 
appear to be assuming, without sufficient knowledge, 
that some communication of ours is called for. We 
desire to be in a position to be able to make such 
necessary inquiries in regard to foreign politics as may 
appear to us to be urgent and important, to make them 
direct, to obtain a reply, and if that reply appears to 
us to embody any principle, to communicate through 
such a Secretariat with the other self-governing com- 
munities asking that they be placed in possession of 
the same information, in order that they may con- 
sider whether in the interests of their own people they 
too should not communicate direct with the Govern- 
ment of this country, in whom the whole control of 
foreign affairs and defence rests. I think such occa- 
sions would be of rare occurrence, and do not think 
they would arise after we had once got into touch with 
one another more than once or twice a year, but when 
they did arise they might be very vital indeed to some 
or all of us." 1 (R, pp. 27-8.) 

i Of. R., pp. 63-71. 



118 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

To Mr. Deakin's mind, always running ahead of 
the others, the two ideas may easily have become 
inseparably connected. He had come to the Confer- 
ence with a specific complaint against the Colonial 
Office, arising out of matters concerning the New 
Hebrides. Apart from that, he seems to have conceived 
the idea (which has been adopted for the purpose of 
the present work) of the Conference as an institution 
having a continuous existence even when its members 
were scattered. Upon that hypothesis all communica- 
tions between the Governments, at all times, would be 
communications between members of the Conference, 
and ipso facto relating to its affairs. Therefore all such 
communications would fall logically within the scope 
of the Secretariat of the Conference. Mr. Deakin, how- 
ever, as will presently be seen, did not go quite so far. 
Double But the other members had not caught up with 

Secre- the conception of the Conference as a continuous in- 

tariat 

stitution. ' We are talking," interposed Dr. Jameson, 
" not about a link between the Imperial Government 
and the Governments of the self-governing Colonies, 
but a link between the Conferences ; " 1 and this view 
was ultimately embodied in the Resolution. 
Opposition A confusion between these two ideas of a " link " 
tariat. a link between Conferences and a link between 
Governments seemed to run through the whole dis- 
cussion. Lord Elgin, followed by Sir Wilfrid Laurier 2 
and General Botha, made matters worse by assuming 
that Mr. Deakin's proposal, having been inspired by 
the Lyttelton despatch, was intended to give effect to 
the unofficial suggestions with which that document 
had been commonly associated. Under this obsession 
they criticised Mr. Deakin's proposal as though its 
purpose or tendency would be to set up an irrespon- 
sible advisory council, which would fire off embarrass- 

1 K., p. 47. 2 B., pp. 29, 35, 67. 



Tin; IMTKIUAL ( oNs'irrr'iioN 

ing resolutions aimed at the Conference or at the 
various Governments, threatening their independence 
<>!' action. 1 

This perversion of the proposal was warmly re- 
pudiated by Mr. Deakin himself," Sir Joseph Ward, 3 
and Dr. Jameson. 4 In point of fact it seems that 
Mr. Deak in's plan, so far from suggesting any new 
kind of advisory body, was framed with the idea of 
getting rid of the peculiar influence of the Colonial 
Ollice, which generally manages to control the ordi- 
nary kind of Colonial Secretary. As Mr. Deakin 
explained, he regarded the Colonial Office as dis- 
qualified by its major business of ruling the Crown 
Colonies which he admitted was "admirably" per- 
formed :> for the totally distinct task of handling the 
Imperial interests of the autonomous Dominions or of 
understanding their point of view. He complained 
that the despatches of the Colonial Office sometimes 
" give us a general sense of discussing a question with 
persons who have already made up their minds about 
it upon another basis altogether." 6 Probably he had 
in mind principally the New Hebrides affair. But the colonial 
full report of this session itself furnishes the most con- 
vincing proof of the justice of his indictment. Com- 
paring the Australasian exposition of the Australasian 
proposal with the criticisms of the Colonial Office, 
made through Lord Elgin, there is no need to seek 
further for an illustration of Colonial statesmen " dis- 
cussing a question with persons who have already 
made up their minds upon it on another basis alto- 
gether." To all appearances the Colonial Office neither 
wished nor tried to consider the forward policy on its 
Imperial merits, but was intent only on defeating it 
at all costs. To accomplish this end it did not scruple 

1 R., pp. 37-40 et passim. K., pp. 26-7. * K., p. 45. 

* R., p. 33. / B R., p. 29. 6 R., p. 44. 



120 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

to take advantage of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's well-known 
difficulties, and of his mistaken preconceptions (mainly 
arising through inadequate or misleading information) 
as to the purport of Mr. Deakin's proposal. If this 
view seems to be uncharitable to the Colonial Office, 
the only alternative would be to attribute to that 
department an intellectual incapacity which cannot 
plausibly be alleged against it. 

Control of The case for having a permanent secretarial staff 
to form a link between meetings of the Conference 
had been so fully established, thanks mainly to Sir 
Frederick Pollock, that it could no longer be seriously 
disputed. The important point, which split the Con- 
ference, was whether the Secretariat should be paid 
by and therefore responsible to the Conference as a 
whole, or be paid by and responsible to one Govern- 
ment only, i.e. that of Britain. Logically the decision 
of this point depended upon the answer to the anterior 
question : Were the Governments to be regarded as 
all equal in status, or was Britain to be regarded as 
the permanent suzerain of the others? Naturally 
Mr. Deakin and his friends, being advocates of 
equality of status, argued for equality of responsibility 
in relation to the Secretariat, as illustrated in Fig. 2. 
The others, assigning a superior status to the United 
Kingdom, argued with equal logic that the Secretariat 
ought to be established, if at all, within the confines 
of the Colonial Office, as in Fig. 1. This plan was 
finally accepted because Sir Wilfrid Laurier insisted on 
it ; the other section of the Premiers explaining that 
without the concurrence of the senior Dominion they 
would not press a forward policy. Realising that the 
official scheme, which the Colonial Office had adum- 
brated, was diametrically opposed in constitutional 
principle to their own, 1 they nevertheless accepted it 

i Mr. Deakin, R., p. 90. 



THi: I.Ml'KKIAL CONSTITUTK 

in the expectation that before the next session it 
would have proved a failure, which would facilitate 
a future attempt to reconstitute * the Secretariat on 
the principle of Imperial Partnership. 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier's objection to the plan of a "Mini- 
Secretariat built upon the principle of Imperial re ^ni- 
Partnership was the difficulty which he alleged of bl 
reconciling it with the principle of " Ministerial 
responsibility," to which every British democracy is 
supposed to attach vital importance. This difficulty 
seems to have presented itself to his mind in two 
forms : 

(1) To Dr. Jameson's contention that the Secre- 
tariat should be made responsible to all the Prime 
Ministers, Sir Wilfrid Laurier replied, " How will 
they control it when you are in South Africa and I 
am in Canada." 2 This difficulty vanishes, however, 
when it is remembered that for years past the 
Colonial Governments have contrived, albeit with 
occasional friction, to control Agents-General or High 
Commissioners in London ; while the British Govern- 
ment has always controlled officials in the uttermost 
parts of the Empire, as well as ambassadors in foreign 
countries. 

(2) A Secretariat, Sir Wilfrid Laurier argued, 3 
must have a single responsible head, who in turn 
could be effectively controlled only by the undivided 
responsibility of one Minister, i.e. of one Government. 

This was perhaps a more real difficulty. Mr. 
Deakin suggested 4 that the director of the Secretariat 
should be the British Prime Minister acting in his 
capacity as President of the Conference, i.e. as repre- 
sentative of all the other Prime Ministers. Though 
Lord Elgin quickly ascertained that Sir Henry 

i Dr. Jameson, B., p. 91. * R., p. 67. 

a R., p. 67. R., p. 64. 



122 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Campbell-Bannerman would decline 1 to assume the 
suggested responsibility, Mr. Deakin would not admit 
the objection, which the Colonial Secretary advanced, 
that the task would be a serious addition to the Prime 
Minister's duties, or would require a very large office : 

" All the departments of this Government would 
remain the Colonial Office, the Foreign Office, the 
Board of Trade and matters of inquiry and ordinary 
communication would go to those departments as a 
matter of course. What I thought might be attached 
to the Prime Minister personally were those despatches 
which have respect to the exercise of the self-govern- 
ing functions of the self-governing communities, all 
great constitutional questions or matters involving con- 
stitutional questions. These, happily, do not arise 
frequently." (R., p. 44.) 

For the rest, the Secretariat would be engaged in 
work of a routine character, not requiring the personal 
attention of the Prime Minister. Mr. Deakin would 
have it composed 2 of officials selected for their know- 
ledge of the several countries. Constitutionally, it 
seems, they would have no individual responsibility 
for anything issuing from the office, which would act 
solely in accordance with the direction of the British 
Prime Minister or his nominee. To illustrate diagram- 
matically the constitutional aspect of this conception 
the internal divisions of the Secretariat in Fig. 2 
would have to be erased, and a single dotted line 
would connect the whole with the Government of the 
United Kingdom. 

At first sight it may seem that such a system 
would not in practice be really different from that of 
Fig. 1, because the British Prime Minister, though 
nominally acting as chairman of the Conference, might 
still be able to direct, or at least restrict, the activities 

1 R., p. 68. 2 R., p. 76. 



Tin; iMiM'.m.M. CONSTITUTION 123 

!' i lie Secretariat in the interests of his own domestic 
parly, ivgurdless of the interests of other members of 
the Conference ; in which event the Secretariat might 
become open to much the same objection as the 
Colonial Office itself from the standpoint of Imperial 
Partnership. 1 

Dr. Jameson 2 seemed to have got hold of a slightly 
different idea. His Secretariat would be composed 
<>f live distinct divisions as in Fig. 2, the head of 10 

1 In reply to the above criticism (which appeared in substantially the 
same form in the Mominy Pott of August 3, 1907), a prominent Australian, 
int imately acquainted with Mr. Deakin's views, wrote to the author as follows : 
" You have not, I think, asked yourself what the new Secretariat is to do. 
The answer is, Nothing executively except by consent, nothing legislatively 
except through the several legislatures. Why, then, fear to allow the British 
Prime Minister to preside over its ordinary work of conducting written com- 
munications ? If, as we understand Laurier's question, he referred to mere 
administrative supervision of the office and its work by the Prime Minister, 
<1< riding nothing except by agreement, instead of having another Colonial 
Office you would have an office of an absolutely new pattern and your criticism 
doesn't apply. If Laurier meant more than this he had not thought out what 
such a novel type of office meant, and we disagree as you do with his objec- 
Our plan is as true to the Diagram 2 as your own. Our second 
principal aim is to make the office the channel of constant intercommuni- 
cation between the oversea Dominions. This intercommunication of the 
Dominions is intended to cover criticisms of any matters arising between 
the Home Government and any one or more of the Dominions, so as to krrp 
all in touch with the precedents as they are established, and enable them 
all to co-operate in reviewing the whole work of the office. This is another 
guarantee against its becoming a new Colonial Office, which in our view is 
impossible in any case. Finally, the functions of the High Commissioners 
have to be allowed for. They will be very useful adjuncts as channels of 
their Governments and very little more. There is said to have been at 
the Conference a tacit, universal, and most resolute determination of all 
the Prime Ministers not to part with a scrap of authority to their High 
Commissioners and to prohibit them from anything approaching a really 
representative position. This was most marked, though for obvious reasons 
not publicly discussed or reported. No doubt the High Commissioners' 
advices would often count for a great deal with their Ministers, but the 
jealousy of distant Cabinets is a factor never to be forgotten in this connection. 
But the chief point to consider is the work of the Secretariat, and if you agree 
that it is not to be clothed with powers or possess authority to act except as 
a Clearing House for the Empire, and an agency through which all its parts 
can be brought together to work for agreed aims, I think you will see Mr. 
Deakin's proposal in another light. Taking this view of the Secretariat's 
functions, we naturally have no special objection to what you describe as 
Jameson's alternative scheme, except that we think Deakin's would work 
better." a R., p. 66. 



124 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

each division being paid and controlled by the Govern- 
ment it represented, just as are the Agents-General 
and High Commissioners now. In fact he mentioned 1 
the High Commissioners and Agents-General, " who 
are entirely under our control," as the obvious men 
for the Colonial Governments to utilise. He seemed 
to make it clearer than Mr. Deakin that the director 
of the Secretariat, whoever he might be, could take 
no action in the name of the body as a whole except 
with the consent of all its members individually, 
who individually at every stage would carry on the 
correspondence with their respective Governments. 
No partner Government would have any liability, 
financial or political, for any action taken by the 
director to which its own representative had not 
expressly assented. But, that there would have to be 
a Ministerial director he admitted in reply to Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier's questionings, and he agreed with 
Mr. Deakin that the British Prime Minister would 
be the proper person. It remains difficult to see 
how, on the principle of Imperial partnership, the 
Secretariat could be placed under the direction of any 
one Minister. Surely it might be organised simply 
as a board of co-operation, electing a chairman only 
for its formal meetings, or as the nature of the 
business might require. 

Turning to the other aspect of Mr. Deakin's pro- 
posal, i.e. the function of the Secretariat as a channel 
of communication between the Governments, it is 
not easy to see why the Colonial Secretary should not 
act for the British Government in such matters. Mr. 
Deakin's main idea seems to have been that with the 
London representatives of the oversea Governments 
grouped in a single office, intercourse between them 
would become more habitual and extensive. For that 

i R., p. 34. 



Till: IMPMKIAI. CONSTITUTION 

idea there is, no doubt, much to be said. In rela- 
tinn to such recent episodes as the Alaska Boundary 
incident, the New Hebrides negotiations, the New- 
foundland fisheries dispute, or British interventions 
in South African affairs, the Dominion immediately 
concerned might have been glad at the time if a 
ready means had existed for trying to enlist the 
sympathy and support of the sister Governments. In 
regard to tariffs, again, a Government contemplating 
tariff revision or measures of preference might profit 
by such an opportunity of comparing with others the 
classification of its schedules or its methods of effect- 
ing preference, with a view to promoting Imperial 
uniformity in such matters. But as to the alleged 
unsuitability of the Colonial Office for discharging the 
representation of the United Kingdom in such matters, 
it is surely for each Government to decide, as Lord 
Elgin protested, what officials it shall employ, either 
under the present system or in connection with an 
Imperial Secretariat. In the exercise of its autonomy 
the British Government chooses to correspond with 
the other Governments through its Colonial Secretary, 
who happens to be charged also with the affairs of the 
Crown Colonies. Australia happens to have a similar 
arrangement ; her Minister of External Affairs, who 
conducts correspondence with the partner Govern- 
ments, being also charged with responsibility for 
the administration of the Commonwealth's " Crown 
Colony " of Papua. The essential point seems really 
to be, not that the Colonial Secretary should not be 
the Minister employed by Britain for correspondence 
with the other Governments, but that any kind of 
joint department which may be established for joint 
purposes should not be either within the Colonial 
Office or under the control of any one Government 
exclusively. 



126 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Governors Lord Elgin apprehended that Mr. Deakin's pro- 
tariat, posal to use the Secretariat as the normal channel 
of correspondence between Governments might pre- 
judicially affect the position of the Governor, through 
whom communications to or from a Colonial Govern- 
ment had generally passed. " There would be a 
danger," he feared, " of the influence of the Governor 
being destroyed, or at any rate his opportunities of 
influence being restricted, and of course it would not 
be very difficult to make the service less attractive 
to men of ability and energy." But whatever may 
be said for or against the exercise of political influence 
by a Governor, the system under which he acts as 
a medium of communication with other Governments, 
through the Colonial Office, is essentially the system 
of Colonial dependence. Upon the theory of Imperial 
partnership which is reflected in the recent appoint- 
ment of a Royal Prince to Canada, the Governor 
represents the common Crown, not the British Govern- 
ment. If the British Government may send and 
receive despatches without reference to the Crown, 
though acting in its name, why. on the theory of 
equality of status, should not the other Governments 
follow the same procedure ? 

Evolution There was at one time a marked tendency for 
Com- the office of Agent-General or High Commissioner 
in London to expand from the domain of finance 
and commerce into that of political affairs. But of 
late years there seems to have been some reaction. 
The exalted social position of Lord Strathcona, for 
example, hardly seems to be equal in political im- 
portance to the position which Sir Charles Tupper 
managed to assert for the office during his period 
of tenure. During four years l he held the office con- 

i Apparently 1888-92. See his letter in the Morning Post, March 19 
1907. 



musioner. 



TIN-! IMI'l'.KIAI. roN-TITl'Tinx V27 

currently with a seat in the Dominion Cabinet, 1 
which naturally gave his representations exceptional 
Wright. Acting in this double capacity he succeeded 
in persuading Lord Salisbury, on one memorable 
occasion, 2 that it was necessary to make a decisive 
stand against the pretensions of the United States. 
As High Commissioner he was accredited by the 
British Government to act with the Ambassador at 
Paris in negotiating the Franco-Canadian Treaty of 
1894; but on the last occasion (1907-1909) the 
Canadian Premier and Minister of Finance came 
over for that purpose. Though the High Com- 
missionership thus appears to have declined in 
political importance, it remains available for future 
development should the need hereafter be felt to 
have arisen. In 1907 there was only one High Com- 
missioner, that of Canada ; Australia and South 
Africa being represented by groups of Agents- 
General. Already, however, matters have so far 
advanced that there are four High Commissioners, 
representing respectively Canada, Australia, New 
Zealand, and South Africa. 3 It is interesting, there- 
fore, to notice that in 1907 most of the Colonial 
Premiers seemed to regard the High Commissioner- High 
ship as the right nucleus of the Imperial organisation S 
which they were discussing. Sir Joseph Ward felt 

" disposed to consider whether the self - governing 
countries could not mutually agree to ... the High 
Commissioners or Agents-General becoming the recog- 
nised channel through which communication should 
pass." (R., p. 31.) 

1 Sir James Garrick, Agent-General for Queensland, was also Minister 
without portfolio, 1884-88. 

- Cf. Dunison's The Struggle for Imperial Unity, pp. 151-4. 

3 Newfoundland has no representative in London of this kind. For 
Imp'-riiil purjMist's she might some day be willing to entrust her interr.sts- 
to Canada, as she did practically in connection with the recent Atlantic 
Fisheries arbitration. 



view. 



128 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

General Botha, who admittedly relied upon the advice 
of Sir Richard Solomon, thought that 

"the link between the Conference and our Agents- 
General should be drawn closer, because these Agents- 
General really represent us here." (R., p. 69.) 

He had suggested, accordingly, that they might be 
instructed to co-operate in preparing the agenda. 1 
Mr. Deakin himself readily assented 2 to the South 
African 3 suggestion that the High Commissioners 
should form the Colonial side of the proposed Secre- 
tariat. 

Tapper's Finally Sir Charles Tupper, the veteran ex-Prime 

Minister of Canada, protested in a review article 
against the "fallacy" of the notion that at present 
there was no machinery for dealing with inter- 
Imperial questions as they arose : 

" The self-governing Colonies have for many years 
past been represented in London by Agents-General 
or High Commissioners, who with a staff of able men 
under them have maintained communication between 
the Colonial and Imperial Governments. 

" I had the honour of representing Canada as 
High Commissioner for thirteen years. ... I am 
bound to say that whatever Government was in power 
the representations of the Colonial Governments re- 
ceived the most prompt and attentive consideration 
from not only the Colonial Minister of the day but 
all the other Ministers, including the Prime Minister, 
whenever the occasion required us to communicate 
with him. If it were a matter affecting one Colony, 
it was dealt with by the representative of that Colony, 
but if it were a question affecting the other Colonies 
as well, all the Colonial representatives met at the 
Canadian Office, and having agreed upon the line to 
be taken, we went in a body to the Secretary of State 

1 R., p. 35. * R., p. 73. 

3 For Dr. Jameson's view, cf. supra, p. 124. 



Till- IMIM'.IUAL CONSTITrTION 129 

for the Colonies, 1 or, where the question affected 
another Department, an interview would be arranged 
for us there." (The Nineteenth Century, May 1907.) 

Thus it appears that the silent evolution of the Power 
Empire, impelled by the elder statesmen of Canada, 
had at one time begun to produce an Imperial organisa- 
tion of the very kind that Mr. Deakin, Dr. Jameson, 
and Sir Joseph Ward strove at this session of the 
Conference to create by a conscious effort. Their 
attempt failed because it was prejudiced by their adop- 
tion of a novel and distrusted terminology. Council 
and Secretariat were terms which had obtained cur- 
rency in a somewhat unfavourable connection during 
the preceding recess. Had Mr. Deakin and his friends 
proposed, not to call the Conference a " Council," nor 
to equip it with a " secretarial staff," but simply to 
charge the High Commissioners with the duties speci- 
fied in the adopted Resolution, it seems probable that 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier would not have so easily mis- 
understood their intention and the Colonial Office 
would have found it less easy to distort and defeat. 

Having succeeded in obtaining authority from the 
Conference for the Colonial Office to provide the 
secretarial staff, Lord Elgin logically enough treated crac> * 
a subsequent attempt by Mr. Deakin to elucidate some 
details as an unwarrantable interference in the affairs 
of the United Kingdom. 2 Bureacracy had triumphed 
and the Empire had lost. The clock had been set 
back by the acceptance of a so-called compromise 
which in effect confirmed the principle of Colonial 
dependence and therefore obstructed the evolution of 
Imperial union. For, there remained the persistent 
truth that the irresistible growth of the Colonies into 
self-conscious nations can never issue in either Imperial 

1 E.g. several times in connection with the Pacific cable project. 
R., pp. 526-7. 
VOL. II I 



130 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Partnership or (ultimately) Imperial Federation, 
which between them exhaust the alternatives to 
gradual disintegration of the Empire, so long as 
Britain represses the movement towards equality of 
status a principle which is common to both sys- 
tems in the vain hope of perpetuating Colonial 
Dependence. 

REFORM The subject of the organisation of the Colonial 

COLONIAL Office, on which the Commonwealth had sent in a 
OFFICE, resolution, had been incidentally discussed a good deal 
in the course of the Constitution debate ; Mr. Deakin 
reiterating his complaint that the Office was out of 
touch with the feeling of the Dominions. The ques- 
tion had been placed separately on the agenda for the 
third day, but had not been reached when the sitting 
was drawing to a close. Lord Elgin, remarking that 
for his own part he had nothing further to say about 
it, hinted that it might be dropped unless Mr. Deakin 
desired to have it further discussed on some future 
day. 

Mr. Deakin accepted the offer. But not until the 
concluding hour of the session did he get the promised 
opportunity of going further into the matter. The 
brief discussion which then took place is disguised in 
the index prepared by the Colonial Office under the 
title " Interchange of Permanent Staff," as though 
it were something connected with Defence. Inter- 
change of civil officials between the British and 
Dominion Governments on the analogy of the in- 
terchange of military officers which was already an 
established practice was one of Mr. Deakin's remedial 
proposals; but the subject under discussion was the 
unsatisfactory condition of the Colonial Office as it 
stood. Yet there was no just reason for any of the 
officials concerned to resent his criticism, which he 
tried to convey, in one of his own phrases, " without 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 131 

Crushing the dust off a butterfly's wings." 1 The 
Office affected Australia ; and, he said, he was not 
doing anything that he would not do with relation 
to any Department of the Commonwealth. He 
began by observing that in Australia Government 
departments had for two reasons become subject to Australian 
constant criticism, which was not intended in any way 
to reflect upon the ability or integrity of the officials 
concerned. First, Australians were not disciples of 
the laissez-faire school, but believed that legislation 
of a type involving somewhat extensive administra- 
tive action was necessary to progress ; and the effec- 
tiveness of such administration required that the 
officials should constantly be in close touch with 
the actual conditions of the community. Secondly, 
Australia was "somewhat singular, inasmuch as 
political patronage, as such, does not exist." The 
Commonwealth Government could not appoint even 
an office-boy. The whole responsibility had been 
transferred to a Public Service Commissioner, whose 
appointments could not be rejected by the Govern- 
ment or any Minister without the express approval 
of Parliament, and in that case the Commissioner, not 
the Government, would have to make another ap- 
pointment. Owing to this condition of affairs in the 
account of which the Canadian Premier displayed a 
lively interest public criticism was more than ever 
necessary in order to keep the energy of the Civil 
Service up to the mark. As to the Colonial Office, 
the nature of its work was quite exceptionally Difficulty 

,. - J of keeping 

ClimCUlt : in touch. 

" The very ablest men of Great Britain, if they 
were public servants in this department, collected into 
this building, shut up in it, and left dependent upon 

1 R., p. 71. 



132 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

what they read or hear to understand the conditions 
of the hundred and one forms of government and 
varieties of conditions under which the Crown Colonies 
and self-governing Colonies grow up, would be quite 
unable to cope with them." (R., p. 613.) 1 

In regard to the Crown Colonies there was, he 
pointed out, some limited interchange of officials with 
the distant local governments, tending to keep the 
Office in touch with local conditions and feeling. But 
in regard to the self-governing Dominions there was 
no such interchange ; even the Governor who on his 
return might influence the Colonial Office being pre- 
cluded by his position from becoming so intimate as 
his Ministers with the work of Departments and the 
life of the country. The specific case of the Emigra- 
tion Board, to which he had already alluded, 2 was an 
apposite example of the existing lack of understand- 
ing. Mr. Deakin suggested, therefore, for the Colonial 
Secretary's consideration, an occasional interchange of 
officials between the Colonial Office and the Dominion 
Governments ; or, as perhaps an easier expedient, 
periodical visits of British officials. The necessity 
for some expedient of this kind in order to keep the 
Governments in touch with each other would, he 
argued, tend to increase rather than diminish as time 
went on. In the Dominions the native-born, who 
were rapidly replacing the immigrant British genera- 
tion, could not comprehend so readily as their fathers 
Functions the condition of things at Home. Then there was 
Secre- the new Secretariat which was to be organised in 
the Colonial Office, and which would depend for its 
success very much upon the extent to which its 
officers were in sympathy with the Dominions and 

1 Of. Sir Charles Bruce's plea for providing the Secretary of State with an 
advisory council in regard to the Crown Colonies. (The Broad Stone of Empire, 
vol. i. ch. vi.) 2 Infra, Ch. XIV, 



THE IMPERIAL CONSTITUTION 133 

understood the kind of matters likely to interest 
them. In future he hoped that the Dominion 
Governments would be kept informed from time to 
time of the developments taking place in regard to 
such matters to quote examples from the past as 
the Alaska Boundary affair in Canada, the New 
Hebrides episode in Australia, or the Delagoa Bay 
controversy in South Africa, so that they might be 
able to lend each other mutual support. There were, 
moreover, minor common interests of a permanent 
character requiring continuous attention in an office 
closely in touch with all parts of the Empire. Some 
of these, e.g. uniformity of statistics, and mutual 
information respecting legal changes of importance to 
the commercial world, had been enumerated by Mr. 
Drage in a recent review article. 1 

Having thus got back to the subject of the Secre- 
tariat, Mr. Deakin took the opportunity to impress 
once more some of the important points in connection 
therewith. He hoped that the Secretariat would 
become " a free channel of communication between 
the different Dominions and the United Kingdom on 
any matters which may be proposed by them or proper 
for inquiry and investigation, instead of sending direct 
to each other," as hitherto. He hoped also that in 
future the information prepared for the use of the 
Conference would be sent out in advance of the 
session, so that Members might be able to digest it 
before the business began. Finally, he hoped that in Time of 
future the session might be arranged to take place Cession of 

i j i ,1 T- i T- T Confer- 

at a time when neither the British Parliament nor a ence. 
social season was in full swing. Lord Elgin, himself 
expressed a wish that the Conference should not 
disperse without deciding what time of year would 

1 More fully in The Imperial Organisation of Trade, by Geoffrey Drage, 
London, 1911 : a valuable book devitalised by free-trade preconceptions. 



134 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

generally be most convenient for the session, so that 
the Secretariat might know the latest date at which 
the information prepared could be sent out. But he 
had to remark that latterly the British Parliament 
had taken to sitting the whole year round excepting 
August and September. Sir Wilfrid Laurier pointed 
out that the Australian Parliament sat in the British 
summer, which generally would be the best season 
for the Conference, while the Canadian Parliament 
sat in the British winter ; so that " you must put 
somebody to inconvenience whenever these Conferences 
are to take place." 

Elgin Lord Elgin did his best, of course, to defend the 

Secre- es Colonial Office against an imputation that, whether 
by its own fault or by pressure of circumstances, it 
suffered from imperfection. He suggested that the 
competition of Rhodes scholars for places in the 
British Civil Service might in time help to meet 
Mr. Deakin's view ; and he pointed out that the 
undertaking to institute a Secretariat for the Con- 
ference would involve the separation in the Colonial 
Office of the self-governing Dominions from the Crown 
Colonies, and a revision of the purely geographical 
basis on which the various sub-departments of the 
Office had hitherto been organised. While unable to 
imagine that interchange of officials could be practi- 
cable, he thought that something more might be done 
in the way of occasional visits. But as to the general 
question of keeping in touch he suggested though 
the reasoning remains very obscure that the business 
coming to the Office from the Dominions " depends 
more upon principles than upon local characteristics," 
so that there was really no need of the kind of 
sympathy which might be derived from first-hand 
acquaintance. As to the Secretariat, he felt that 
he had undertaken a formidable task ; and he hoped 



THE IMPKRIAL CONSTITUTION 185 

that his efforts to fulfil it would be supported by the 
Dominion Governments. Mr. Deakin hastened to 
assure him that the practice in Australia was for 
Ministers to support the British Government as far 
as they could ; and he himself had never in Australia 
criticised the Colonial Office so freely as now in the 
Conference. Subsequent developments, it remains 
to add, were to prove how fruitful Mr. Deakin's 
suggestions in this matter became. 



CHAPTER XII 

IMPERIAL DEFENCE 

Mr. Hal- ON the fourth day the discussion passed from the 
Story subject of the Constitution to that of Defence. Mr. 
plan< Haldane, the British Minister of War, led off with 
a very lucid address which was greatly appreciated, 
though in the upshot it did not really carry matters 
much further than the point reached by the War 
Office at the session of 1902. The war in South 
Africa had, he said, made a "profound impression" 
at the War Office, which recognised that it had been 
entered upon without adequate preparation, and that 
the importance of preparing in time of peace had not 
been fully apprehended. In 1904 the Esher Committee 
had sat to investigate the question of organisation, 
and the Liberal Government were now carrying on 
the work of reform which their predecessors had initi- 
ated. A " brain for the Army," in the shape of a 
General Staff, had been created. Its Chief, Sir Neville 
Lyttelton, had been brought by Mr. Haldane to the 
Conference ; as also had Sir William Nicholson, the 
Quartermaster-General ; Sir George Clarke, who had 
"played a great part in the Esher reorganisation," 
and was secretary of the Committee of Imperial 
Defence ; and the Directors of Military Operations 
and Military Training. What Mr. Haldane desired 
to put before the Conference was "a certain broad 
plan of military organisation for the Empire." No 
"rigid model" for general adoption would be of any 
use ; being precluded by the varying conditions of the 



136 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 137 

different countries. But it would be a help if all could 
agree to recognise " a common purpose or common 
end," the nature of which he proceeded to explain : 

" This conception of defence is that the Army First and 
should be divided into two parts with distinct func- n^ n f 
tions. There is a part with defence as its primary defence - 
main function, and it has no obligation to go over the 
sea. That is raised by the citizens of the particular 
Dominion of the Crown concerned, simply for the 
purpose of home defence. There is the other part 
which exists not for local defence, but for the service 
of the Empire as a whole, the expeditionary force, 
which, in a country like ours, must be naval as well 
;is military, and I go further and say primarily naval. 
There is the Fleet, which, in order to make the The Fleet : 
defence of the Empire what we all hope and believe 
it is, and are convinced that it must remain if the 
Empire is to hold together, must have the complete 
command of the sea, and must be stronger than the 
fleet of any other Power, or, for that matter, of any 
other two Powers. And, in conjunction with that, 
there is an expeditionary force consisting of regular 
troops which we have just reorganised at home. 
This expeditionary force, working in conjunction with 
the Navy, will be able to operate at a distance for 
the defence of the Empire as a whole. Behind that, 
which I call the first line, our conception is a second 
line consisting of those home defence troops of which 
I have spoken. The events of a few years ago showed 
that the Empire could act as a whole, and that in a 
supreme emergency these home defence forces would 
pour forth for the defence of something more than 
their own shores. But that rests upon voluntary 
effort and not upon any rigid pattern. Our main 
purpose in bringing this subject before you to-day is 
to emphasise the desirability so far as possible that 
these home forces of the. various self-governing 
Dominions of the Crown should be organised, if not 
to a common pattern because rigidity of pattern we 



138 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

recognise is impossible with the various circumstances 
of the various countries yet with a common end in 
view and with this common conception." (R., pp. 95-6.) 

In Britain the Territorial Army was being planned 
to form the " second line " force. In Canada there 
was the Militia, and in the other Dominions corre- 
sponding organisations were contemplated. Thus, 
Mr. Haldane postulated, the broad idea of the dis- 
tinction between expeditionary forces and home 
defence forces was common to all. If the idea were 
properly translated into fact, " the Empire would be 
defended as no other nation in the world is defended, 
because its resources would be available from so 
many quarters." But in order to work to a common 
pattern it was necessary to have a common concep- 
tion, involving skilled advisers. That was where the 
General Staff came in : 

Wanted, " My main purpose in addressing the Conference 

is to suggest for your acceptance the opinion that the 



staff 1 General Staff which we have created at home and 

which is in its infancy should receive as far as possible 
an Imperial character. I will define what I mean. 
It is not that we wish in the slightest degree even to 
suggest that you should bow your heads to any direc- 
tion from home in military matters, but that the 
General Staff officer would have as his function this : 
Trained in a great common school, recruited, it may 
be, from the most varying parts of the Empire, but 
educated in military science according to common 
principles, he would be at the disposition of the local 
Government or of the local Commander-in-Chief 
whether he were Canadian, British, or Australian, or 
New Zealander, or South African, for giving advice 
and furnishing information based upon the highest 
military study of the time. . . . 

" The commanding officer, according to the theory 
of the General Staff, is unfettered ; he has the com- 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE i:) 

plete power of accepting or disregarding the advice 
of his General Staff officer, but he has at his elbow 
somebody who is there with knowledge, with sugges- 
tion, with advice, furnished with all the resources 
which are supplied by the central school from which 
the General Staff officer comes, namely, the head- 
quarters of the General Staff." (R., p. 96.) 

In Canada, he pointed out, a local attempt had 
already been made to create a General Staff, then 
consisting of five officers, with one British General 
Staff officer, General Lake. But there was no organic 
connection between these embryo General Staffs in 
Britain and in Canada. He suggested, therefore, 
that a system of exchanging officers between the 
two should be initiated, so as to "broaden the basis 
of this General Staff which we have just created." 
That would tend to bring about uniformity in regard 
to organisation, weapons, and other details, so as 
to render the forces in the several countries capable 
of efficiently acting together in war should occasion 
arise. 

Some papers had been circulated by the War The 
Office, but too late for any of the Premiers to have great, 06 
been able to digest them. Mr. Haldane explained pnnciple8> 
their purport. The first called attention to the 
" three great principles " : (1) " The obligation of each 
self-governing community to provide, as far as pos- 
sible, for its own local security " ; (2) " the duty of 
arranging for mutual assistance on some definite lines 
in case of supreme common need " ; (3) " the necessity 
of the maintenance of that sea supremacy which alone 
can ensure any military co-operation at all." It 
went on to indicate how Britain was trying to per- 
form her part by means of a territorial army, an 
expeditionary force, and a supreme navy. The second 
paper dealt with the importance of assimilating 



140 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

war organisation throughout the Empire. The value 
of any assistance which a Dominion might in future 
offer to the mother country would be greatly en- 
hanced "if it can be given in a form in which it 
can readily be fitted into the organisation of an 
entire army in the field." In regard to that point 
he wished to emphasise " the absolute necessity " of 
preparation in time of peace. A third paper related 
to the patterns and provisions of equipment and stores 
for Colonial forces. 

Reserve of Another important question was that of the train - 
officers, ing of officers. In Britain, Mr. Haldane stated, an 
attempt was being made to organise a reserve of 
officers, and he knew that the same question was 
engaging the attention of the Dominions. He would 
like to make the reserve of officers Imperial in the 
same sense as the General Staff, arranging a circula- 
tion by means of interchange between the several 
countries. This again was a matter to the attainment 
of which the imperialised General Staff would be 
the most promising means : 

" Our great object must be to make the General 
Staff an Imperial school of military thought, all the 
members of which are imbued with the same tradi- 
tions, accustomed to look at strategical problems from 
the same point of view, and acquainted with the 
principles and theories generally accepted at head- 
quarters." (R., p. 98.) 

He considered that the Imperial Reserve of Officers 
was too complicated a subject to be profitably dis- 
cussed at the Conference ; but the War Office would 
be " a home " for any of the Colonial Ministers who 
might care to follow the matter up at once. Only, 
he hoped that the Conference would agree in "focus- 
sing the broad purpose " on the lines of a resolution 






IMI'KIUAL 1)K1TA(T, HI 

he had drafted for their consideration and 
placed in their hands. 

The idea of a joint General Staff, to be established 
by a system of exchanging officers, met with general 
approval. But the sufficiently definite hint that an 
expeditionary force for oversea service should be a 
recognised part of the uniform organisation for defence 
had a more mixed reception. It fell to Canada, as 
the senior Dominion, to open the discussion on Mr. 
Haldane's statement. Sir Frederick Borden, the 
Canadian Minister of Defence, came to the point 
without delay : 

" So far as the Dominions beyond the seas are 
concerned, at any rate so far as Canada is concerned, 
we have no authority under our Militia law to do any- 
thing beyond spend money and make preparations for 
the defence of Canada itself. We cannot call our 
Militia out for active service for any purpose beyond 
the defence of Canada. Although Canada took part 
in the troubles in South Africa, it was done by a force 
which volunteered specially for the purpose and made 
a special contract for that purpose. I do not see very 
well how any responsibility could be undertaken to 
supply any force for any other purpose without an 
amendment of the law. Further, there is a provision 
within the law of Canada that if it is desirable to con- 
tribute a force to Imperial defence abroad, Parliament 
shall be called together, the idea being that each case 
shall be dealt with when it arises." (R., pp. 99100.) 

As to the proposed General Staff, the Canadian but 
Minister desired to be reassured that it would have 

Ql ce 

no " independent authority " in the Dominions, such 
as it would have if, for example, the British officers 
sent in exchange to Canada were to remain " respon- 
sible in the first place to the Secretary of State for 
War " in England, instead of becoming responsible 
to the Minister of Defence in Canada. On Mr. 



142 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Haldane's renewed assurance that the General Staff 
was a "purely advisory body," 1 Sir Frederick 
Borden declared himself strongly in favour of the 
exchange of officers. He went on to urge the desir- 
ability of having factories in the Dominions for the 
manufacture of arms and ammunition, so as to render 
them less dependent on maritime communications. 
(He had not noticed that this principle had already 
been accepted and recommended by the War Office 
itself in one of the circulated papers.) He explained 
that Canada had started the Ross rifle factory only 
after she had failed in an attempt to induce some 
one of the firms in Britain to establish a branch in 
Canada for the manufacture of the Lee-Enfield. To 
illustrate the necessity of such action, in 1900 Canada 
wanted to purchase 15,000 rifles through the War 
Office, but was told that if she would wait long 
enough she might have 5000. He agreed absolutely 
about uniformity of weapons ; mentioning that in 
making the contract with Vickers, Sons & Maxim 
for the new field-gun he had stipulated that the 
gun should first be accepted in every detail by the 
War Office, and should be supplied at the same 
price as to the War Office, so as to avoid any ap- 
pearance of competition between the two Govern- 
ments. In conclusion, both the Canadian Militia and 
the Canadian people had " only one desire," which 
was to " prepare in every possible way " for the full 
protection of their " own territory." This they had 
shown by relieving the War Office of responsibility 
for the maintenance of Halifax and Esquimalt. The 
contingents sent to South Africa had shown the kind 
of spirit animating the Canadian people "when the 
Empire seemed for a time to be in peril." By striv- 

1 He said later on, " Any General Staff officer sent under this scheme 
would be absolutely your own officer at your own disposition." (R., p. 117.) 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 143 

after uniformity in matters of organisation- 
al nch he observed would be feasible so long as the 
War Office did not make changes too frequently for 
the Dominions to keep pace much might be done 
to prepare for " any supreme struggle which might 
take place." 

Mr. Deakin was entirely favourable to the general 
principles enunciated by Mr. Haldane, whose address 
had given him "no anxiety" such as the Canadian 
Minister had displayed on the score of self-govern- 
ment. He only regretted that the remoteness of 
Australia, and the circumstance that practically all 
the members of its defence forces had to earn a 
civilian livelihood, might render impracticable the 
interchange of whole units with other parts of the 
Empire. As to uniformity, the Commonwealth was 
already acting on that principle, if not carrying it to 
an extreme : 

" In Australia we have been rather subject to 
mockery because we have followed so closely some 
methods of the Imperial forces. As fast as they 
Germanised we Germanised, until some military ex- 
perts have criticised us for failing to adapt our drill 
and operations to the country in which our men will 
require to act, dwelling too much upon getting them 
upon parade in exact line, at the exact angle, with 
the proper cap and belt." (R., p. 104.) 

They made ammunition in Melbourne, but were still 
in difficulty about cordite. In order that there might 
be a sufficient demand to keep a larger ammunition 
factory going all the year round, he hoped that the 
Admiralty would agree to purchase some of its naval 
munitions from the Commonwealth ; subject to quality 
and price being normal. The Australians, he de- 
clared, did not take a " narrow view " of their military 
obligations. The Cadet movement was making rapid 



144 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

progress. He produced an elaborate map, which the 
War Office representatives were glad to take away 
and copy, showing the precise location of every kind 
of military unit in Australia. The miniature rifles 
they required were offered in Belgium at 37s. 6d., but 
the Commonwealth had "without a moment's hesita- 
tion " paid 39s. in order to have them from Britain. 
" That was to help British industry to turn out British 
weapons for British men." As to the suggested ex- 
peditionary force, he did not commit himself beyond 
declaring that Mr. Haldane's " broad-minded view of 
Imperial possibilities in the way of military defence " 
would be practically reviewed by his Government 
" with the warmest possible desire to co-operate " in 
the great projects so clearly outlined. 
N 6 ^ Sir Joseph Ward remarked that the Canadian 

Zealand i * 

attitude. Minister's statement respecting the legal restrictions 
on the employment of the Militia applied equally to 
New Zealand. He did not agree with Mr. Deakin 
that the interchange of units would be impracticable. 
New Zealand, he was sure, could get together a 
Volunteer unit at any time to send for training with 
the Volunteer forces in Great Britain. Parliament 
would readily grant them an allowance, though he 
admitted that the difficulty would remain of keeping 
their employment open. 

AfriJ-s ^ r> Smartt, on behalf of Cape Colony, went 

attitude, further in Mr. Haldane's direction than any of the 
others. 1 He favoured the idea on which he was 
" extremely anxious " to hear the opinion of his friend, 
General Botha of disbanding some of the permanent 
defence forces in the Colony, particularly the Cape 
Police and the Cape Mounted Rifles, with a view to 
re-enrolling them on terms of serving anywhere in 
the Empire should the Government of the Colony at 

1 The attitude of Cape Colony was similar in 1902. Cf. vol. i. p. 365. 



IMI'KHIAL DKI 1 V 145 

any time wish to despatch an expeditionary force. 
He li<i|i( (1, further, that a similar arrangement could 
be made with the Admiralty for a Naval Reserve 
force, on the same basis. 

Mr. Moor claimed that Natal, under pressure of 
her Native environment, led the way in military 
matters, having already established compulsory service 
as well as a " very complete " Cadet system. 

General Botha did not respond to Dr. Smartt's 
invitation. But he was fully alive to the importance 
of the subject under discussion. " If the Empire is 
to expand still more, this is one of the important 
factors in its expansion." The Transvaal was at that 
moment " entirely without any means of defence," l 
and would be in a "hazardous position" should the 
Imperial Government remove its troops. Having 
previously discussed the matter with Dr. Jameson 
and Mr. Moor, he thought that if they could not have 
a general federation in South Africa they should at 
least federate for defence, 2 which would be " a very 
effective way of aiding the Empire." 

All the Colonial Ministers having thus expressed Mr. 
their respective views, Mr. Haldane at once took up approves 
Dr. Smartt's suggestion, which he said " would be a 
most valuable thing if it could be carried out." 3 But 
he recognised the difficulty would the force be at 
the disposal of the Imperial Commander-in-Chief, or 
who would call it out on the outbreak of war ? The 
difficulty he did not think was by any means insuper- 
able, but he mentioned it by way of showing the need 

1 Later (R., p. 147) he explained that the Transvaal was spending 177,000 
a year on its Volunteers, while the Constabulary was costing (including the 
O.RC.) a million sterling ; but apparently he did not set much value on either 
force. 

2 The recent Native outbreak in Nalal had brought this matter to a 
head ; the Transvaal, under tie Crown Administration, having sent a con- 
tingent. 

3 R., p. 114. 

VOL. II K 



146 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

for more detailed consideration. Dr. Smartt explained 
that of course these troops would not be available 
except with the express consent of the Colonial 
Government when circumstances arose. All he was 
aiming at was to remove the difficulty mentioned by 
Sir Frederick Borden, of the Colonial Government 
being powerless to send troops out of the country 
unless and until the men could be got to volunteer 
individually, which meant uncertainty and delay. 
But the Cape Minister's idea was vigorously opposed 
by the Premier of New Zealand, who was also Minister 
of Defence. The importance of Sir Joseph Ward's 
objection is enhanced by the circumstances that re- 
latively New Zealand had sent more men to South 
Africa than either Canada or Australia ; and that his 
predecessor, Mr. Seddon, had advocated in 1902 a 
decidedly "imperialistic" scheme under which there 
would be a reserve force in the Colony partly paid by 
the War Office and always at its call. To show that 
the much criticised Canadian attitude may be shared 
by the most British of the Dominions, Sir Joseph 
Ward's statement may be quoted in full : 

but NOW " We want to have our Volunteer system carried 

diS^ntsas out under a complete organised defence system in 

Canada -^ ew Zealand, without distinction of any kind for over- 

sea purposes. We are against anything in the nature 
of a standing army. We have now in existence our 
Volunteers, many of whom are actively engaged in 
helping to develop the country. We have a very large 
reserve force of private individuals who are qualified 
to serve anywhere, and we want to be in the position, 
in New Zealand, of allowing it to be a voluntary offer- 
ing from the Government and the individual to fight 
oversea when called upon for the Empire, and we 
know we could get thousands of them. If we were to 
attempt a first line or company, whatever is suggested, 
to be always ready for oversea defence, I think you 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 147 

would create internal difficulties amongst the ordinary, 
or rather regular, forces who would willingly and spon- 
taneously go out and fight when the time arises. I 
believe, with all due deference to my friend Dr. Smartt, 
that it is far better to let the country as a whole 
realise, in the event of trouble arising, that we can 
draw upon our volunteers for wherever we are going 
to fight, not ear-marking them beforehand. A good 
system of defence in our own country for use externally 
when the time arises is the better course to follow. 
It would entail legislation in our country if anything 
of the kind were proposed, and our people in time of 
peace do not want to have paraded a permanent or- 
ganisation to go outside the country to fight. That 
is the sort of thing that would deter them to some 
extent from general action when the time arises. I 
do sincerely hope at all events that Mr. Haldane will 
not, so far as New Zealand is concerned, expect us to 
go upon lines of that kind." (R., p. 115.) 

Sir Frederick Borden supported the New Zealand 
Premier by reading a paragraph very much to the 
same effect from the report of his own remarks at the 
session of 1902. 

Mr. Haldane found himself entirely sympathetic. The 

"Hritish 

Was he not at that moment confronted with just the solution. 
same kind of difficulty in connection with his Territorial 
scheme ? He would read to them the clause he had 
drafted for his own Bill, representing the furthest 
limit to which his Government had felt it possible 
to go : 

" Any part of the Territorial Force shall be liable 
to serve in any part of the United Kingdom, but no 
part of the Territorial Force shall be carried or ordered 
to go out of the United Kingdom. . . . Provided that 
it shall be lawful for His Majesty, if he thinks fit, to 
accept the offer of any body of men of the Territorial 
Force, signifying through their commanding officer, to 



148 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

subject themselves to the liability (a) to serve in any 
place outside the United Kingdom, 1 ..." (R., p. 116.) 

That, he said, " is very much the measure of what we 
want you to do." If the Colonial Governments could 
get the amount of " latitude " that would enable 
them to organise their second-line forces in such a 
manner as to facilitate the acceptance of a voluntary 
offer, he thought it would be a step in advance. 
French- Though all the oversea members were agreed this 

-anti-mill- time in taking a territorial-national rather than a 
Colonial standpoint, the discussion had already revealed 
a marked divergence of attitude, represented at the 
extremes by Canada and New Zealand respectively. 
The extremes had met in a common antagonism to 
the policy of ear-marking troops for an Imperial ex- 
peditionary force. But whereas Sir Joseph Ward 
objected to that plan because he thought it might 
tend to diminish the strength of the available force 
when the call came, the objection of the Canadian 
Ministers seemed rather to be directed against any 
policy which might appear to commit the Dominion in 
advance to sending any force out of the country, even 
though the assent of the Colonial Parliament were 
a condition precedent of such action. In Quebec 
any policy of military preparation, whether strictly 
Canadian or also Imperial in intention and scope, was 
liable to be denounced as " militarism," and to be ex- 
ploited against the Government in power at Ottawa. 
The only idea of defence congenial to French-Canadian 
tribalism seems to be that of defending Quebec against 
invasion, and of relying for that purpose upon improvi- 
sation until Britain, performing her duty towards a 
conquered but loyal Colony, could again send warships 
and troops up the St. Lawrence as in the days of 

1 This clause was embodied in the same language in the final Act. 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 149 

Wolfe. Sir Wilfrid Laurier had in his time, and par- 
ticularly since the South African war, " played up " 
a good deal to this anti-militarist prejudice. It now 
imj) lii-i-d the otherwise natural understanding between 
himself and General Botha, whose instinct was de- 
cidedly "militarist" even to the extent of contem- 
plating the possibility of future " expansion " l of the 
Empire (presumably in South Africa) with the aid of 
his own people. Though Sir Frederick Borden had 
worked earnestly, and not without success, for the 
improvement of the Canadian Militia, the Government handicaps 
had been careful to avoid too much advertising ofGo 11 
their efforts in that direction. In General Lake they m3nt ' 
had enjoyed the assistance, as Mr. Haldane reminded 
them, of a "very distinguished" officer of the British 
General Staff. " Precisely," answered Sir Frederick 
Borden, " but we have not said much about it ; " and 
the adroit Secretary of State at once responded : " No, 
your deeds have been better than your words." ' This 
attitude of the Canadian Government came out very 
clearly, almost ludicrously, in the higgling over the 
language of the War Office resolution ; which said ..</. in 
that the Conference " recognises and affirms " the need eSSae'i 
for developing a joint General Staff, to be available rc 
for advice to any Government that might desire it, 
" without in the least interfering in questions connected 
with command and administration." In drafting this 
resolution Mr. Haldane had done his best to meet 
the anticipated apprehensions. The resolution set off' 
" without wishing to commit to immediate action 
any of the Governments represented." Some of the 
Premiers would fain have omitted the whole of that 
sentence, as being superfluous if not derogatory to the 
Conference ; since it was perfectly well understood by 
this time that none of the Colonial Governments could 

1 Supra, p 145. 2 K., p. 117. 



150 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

give effect to such resolutions without the prelimi- 
nary sanction of its Parliament. But at Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier's instance the sentence remained with the 
omission of "to immediate action," lest these w^ords 
should appear to commit the Governments to taking 
some action sooner or later. In his view, apparently, 
a resolution of the Conference not only could not bind 
the Parliaments (a point on which all were agreed), but 
did not even commit the assenting Governments a 
theory which would appear to render the Conference 
almost nugatory. 

"Third Sir Wilfrid Laurier would have desired the resolu- 

mg< tion to be held over for what Lord Elgin had already 
termed a " third reading." 1 General Botha, not yet 
being firmly in the saddle, more naturally wished to 
have ample time for pondering the exact significance 
of every resolution. But the other Premiers were all 
for getting on with the business, and were less afraid 
of committing themselves. In a similar spirit, when 
Mr. Haldane suggested describing the General Staff 
as " for the service of the Empire," Sir Frederick 
Borden would have preferred " for the service of 
the various Dominions " avoiding recognition of the 
Empire as an unit but he did not press the point. 2 
The Resolution as finally passed is given in the 
Appendix. 

The Com- There was also some discussion about the relation 
imperial of the Dominions to the Committee of Imperial De- 
fence. Mr. Haldane explained 3 the somewhat nebu- 
lous nature of that " nucleus body." It had no " fixed 
composition " ; he himself was not a member though 
he always attended the meetings. It was summoned, 
as occasion arose from time to time, by the Prime 
Minister, who invited whom he pleased, naturally in- 



i R., p. 119. Of. p. 84. 2 R., p. 118. 

3 R., p. 121. Cf. P., p. 15. 



IMPERIAL 1)KH \< I 1 ,1 

eluding a Colonial representative if the matter to 
be discussed affected any particular Colony. Sir 
Frederick Borden observed 1 that in 1903 he himself 
had been thus invited to sit with the Committee- 
doubtless in connection with the transfer of Halifax 
and Esquimalt. But Mr. Deakin was not satisfied with 
this dependence on invitation. The Commonwealth 
had recently asked for a report on the Australian 
position from the Committee, which had responded 
generously but without answering certain specific 
points to which the Commonwealth attached im- 
portance. IJe desired, therefore, that the Dominions 
should have a right not only of consulting the Com- 
mittee but of sending representatives to explain their 
views. This principle was recognised in the Resolu- 
tion passed. 

At the expressed desire ot Australia, New Zea- ; Pub- 
land, and South Africa, Mr. Haldane's address was a^lin. 
published at once ; the idea being to make the most 
of its educative influence, which would be impaired if 
publicity were deferred until after public interest had 
ceased in the Conference. Canada alone dissented, 
though the objection is not recorded. 

Naval Defence was the next subject to be taken NAVAL 
up. Lord Tweedmouth hardly occupied to the Ad- 
miralty the same relation as Mr. Haldane to the 
War Office. The First Lord had not his colleague's 
ability and force of character. The views he expressed 
performing his part very creditably were as much 
those of his professional advisers as Lord Elgin's were 
those of the permanent officials in the Colonial Office. 
Doubtless it is desirable that in naval matters the 
experts should be able to enforce their opinions. But 
in that context it is important to maintain a dis- 
tinction between technical and political opinions. In 

1 R., p. 120. 



152 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Functions accordance with constitutional theory and a sound 
aity ancf practice the Admiralty would neither presume nor be 
mentals- allowed to frame the political hypothesis of inter- 
ed ' national relations which must underlie any scheme of 
naval defence. That should be done by the Govern- 
ment of the day. The Government might, for ex- 
ample, furnish the Admiralty with the hypothesis of 
a naval alliance with Japan against a combination 
suggested, and ask for a scheme of naval preparation 
on that basis. Similarly, in relation to the problem 
of Imperial union, it would be the duty of the Govern- 
ment to furnish the Admiralty with a hypothesis of 
inter-Imperial political relations, which would neces- 
sarily be based on one or other of the constitutional 
forms delineated in the appended diagrams. Un- 
fortunately there seems to be no ground for supposing 
that any Government of modern times has performed 
this duty. To all appearances the Admiralty, when 
mistaken called upon for naval plans of Imperial union, has 
s> been allowed to frame its own hypothesis of inter- 
Imperial political relations. Up to the session of the 
Conference in 1907 the Admiralty hypothesis seemed 
to be consistently that of Colonial Dependence 
(Fig. 1), with an idea in the background that the only 
possible change would take the form of Imperial 
Federation (Fig. 3). The political principle of cash 
contribution from the several States to a centrally 
administered naval fund would be equally appropriate 
to Colonial Dependence and to Imperial Federation ; 
the only difference being that in the latter case the 
control over expenditure and policy would be federal 
instead of being monopolised by the suzerain State. 
Cash contribution had so far been the essence of the 
Admiralty's naval plan of Imperial union. That 
system had the further advantage of fitting in per- 
fectly with the strategical maxim, " One sea, one 



IMPF.1UAI, DKITACi; 

navy, one control." But the political hypothesis was 
erroneous, not corresponding to reality. The days of 
Colonial Dependence were passing away ; and the new 
conception in the Dominions was that of Imperial 
Partnership (Fig. 2), not Imperial Federation. The 
principle of Imperial Partnership, or alliance, was 
;uit;igonistic alike to the political principle of cash 
contribution and to the strategical principle (since it 
had a political aspect) of centralised control. The 
impulses of all-round national development and of 
national autonomy (including control over national 
fighting power) demanded that the naval policy of 
Imperial union should aim at the development of an 
inter-Imperial naval alliance, allied navies instead of 
" one fleet under one control." 

The failure in 1902 seems to have taught the 
Admiralty at last that the old policy would not work ; 
and the South African War may have suggested 
to them that distinctively local forces might be 
furnished in considerable strength by Colonies which 
had refused to make any appreciable grant in money 
to the headquarters of the Empire. At any rate in 
1907 the Admiralty showed that they had definitely 
decided to abandon the demand for cash contri- 
butions and, nominally at least, to encourage local 
naval development in the Dominions. But they had 
not yet abandoned the erroneous hypothesis. The 
still postulated " one navy under one control." The 
control they meant was continuous control, in peace 
as well as in war ; whereas the control which all 
the Dominions were always prepared to concede 
meant control restricted to the contingencies of war 
and manoeuvres, and subject always to a specific 
transfer of the local forces to the Admiralty by the 
Colonial Government, as occasion arose. In peace, 
and pending the specific transfer, the Colonial Govern- 



154 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

ment would retain control ; nominally in the name 
of " self-government," which means if the idea is 
probed that the community desires to exert in the 
domain of external relations the influence arising 
from having discretion to fight or not to fight, instead 
of surrendering itself wholly to the British Foreign 
Office. 

did not Lord Tweedmouth's address at this sitting con- 

ciaim for veyed unintentionally a fallacious impression, that the 
Admiralty had at last conceded the claim of the 
larger Dominions to control whatever local naval 
forces they might create. The misconception arose 
partly through Lord Tweedmouth's habit of using 
the expression " the country " which to many would 
mean only Britain as a synonym for " the Empire." 
Lord Tweedmouth's habit of speech reflected the 
mental conception of Colonial Dependence, or possibly 
Imperial Federation, but not that of Imperial Partner- 
ship. The mistake as to his meaning was facilitated 
by the too hasty assumption that in surrendering 
the demand for cash subsidies the Admiralty had 
modernised their political hypothesis ; which was not 
the case. All they seem really to have accom- 
plished intellectually was to decide that contribu- 
tions to " one navy under one control " might be 
obtained more readily, as Lord Tweedmouth sub- 
sequently expressed it, " in kind than in cash." The 
particular kind recommended to the more ambitious 
Dominions was the submarine, a form of vessel less 
calculated than any other to fit in with the policy of 
separate naval development. Not being sea-going in 
the same sense as destroyers or cruisers, the sub- 
marine does not lend itself to the general purposes 
of naval training ; and as a very complicated " box 
of tricks " it requires too highly trained and specialised 
a personnel to fit in with the system of naval volun- 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE ir,5 

teers which the Dominions hoped to develop. On 
the not uncommon assumption that the Empire exists 
for the Navy, not vice versa, and that Imperial 
Partnership must therefore be ruled out of court, the 
technical scheme prepared by the Admiralty for the 
Conference of 1907 was suitable enough. The only 
drawback to it was that in practice the political con- 
ditions of the Empire are almost as unadaptable as 
its geographical features to the ideal requirements 
of strategical science. In the problem of Imperial 
defence the Canadian or South African national con- 
sciousness is as fundamental a condition as are the 
lengthy land frontiers of those Dominions. But the 
fact that the Admiralty had not abandoned its old 
political hypothesis did not clearly emerge in the 
proceedings of the session. It was revealed later on, 
when the Australian Government proceeded to develop 
what they had imagined to be the agreed naval 
policy. 

Addressing the Conference, Lord Tweedmouth -Trust 
differentiated his position from that of Mr. Haldane a ity." " 
who had preceded him. Instead of offering them any 
" sketch," he would lay before them a " completed 
picture." The navy had never failed ; and the 
Admiralty were confident that they knew their work. 
So he asked for entire confidence in that body, and 
in the present Government, for the future safety of 
" the country." They wanted the Dominions " to take 
some leading part in making more complete than it 
is at present the naval defence of the Empire " ; and 
in so doing he asked them to " trust the Admiralty " : 

" The only reservation that the Admiralty desire 
to make is that they claim to have the charge of 
the strategical questions which are necessarily in- 
volved in Naval Defence, to hold the command of 
the naval forces of the country, and to arrange the 



156 

distribution of ships in the best possible manner to 
resist attacks and to defend the Empire at large, 
whether it be our own islands or the Dominions 
beyond the seas. . . . 

" There is, after all, only one sea that laps around 
all our shores. . . . There is one sea, there is one 
Empire, and there is one navy, and I want to claim 
in the first place your help, and in the second place 
authority for the Admiralty to manage this great 
service without restraint." (R., p. 129.) 

He had brought a statement of the subsidies then 
current : Australia, 200,000 ; New Zealand, 40,000 ; 
Cape Colony, 50,000 ; Natal, 35,000 ; Newfoundland, 
3000; Canada, nil; total, 328,000. The Admiralty 
did not come as beggars ; they wished to meet " these 
contributors to Admiralty funds in a liberal and con- 
ciliatory manner." He proceeded to give a "general 
statement " of the Admiralty policy : 

Contrjbu- " We do not wish to insist that the contributions 

''kind?" from the Colonies should necessarily be in the form 

only of money. We are quite ready to enter into 
any arrangements with the Colonies that may seem 
most suitable to them, and which may seem to bring 
advantage to the Navy, and advantage to the Colonies 
themselves. . . . 

" His Majesty's Government recognise the natural 
desire of the self-governing Colonies to have a more 
particular share in providing the naval defence force 
of the Empire, and, so long as the condition of unity 
of command and direction of the fleet is maintained, 
they are ready to consider a modification of the exist- 
ing arrangements to meet the views of the various 
Colonies. In the opinion of the Government, while 
the distribution of the fleet must be determined by 
strategical requirements of which the Admiralty are 
the judge, it would be of great assistance if the 
Colonial Governments would undertake to provide for 
local service in the Imperial squadrons the smaller 



IMPERIAL DKI'I \( I. r,7 

vessels that are useful for defence against possible 
raids, or for co-operation with a squadron, and also to 
equip and maintain docks and fitting establishments 
which can be used by His Majesty's ships. It will 
further be of much assistance if coaling facilities are 
provided, and arrangements can be made for the 
supply of coal and naval stores which otherwise would 
li:ivo to be sent out specially or purchased locally. 

" I understood that, in Australia particularly, and in 
South Africa, it is desired to start some naval service 
of your own. Perhaps I might suggest that if the 
provision of the smaller craft which are necessarily 
incident to the work of a great fleet of modern battle- 
ships could be made locally, it would be a very great 
help to the general work of the Navy. You cannot sub- 
take the small craft such as torpedo boats and sub- 
marines across the ocean, and for warships to arrive in 
South Africa or in Australia or in New Zealand or in 
Canada, and find ready to their hand well-trained men 
in good vessels of this kind, would be an enormous 
advantage to them. . . . There is, I think, the further 
advantage in these small flotillas, that they will be an 
admirable means of coast defence ; that you will be 
able by the use of them to avoid practically all danger 
from any sudden raids which might be made by a 
cruising squadron." (R., pp. 130-1.) 

The Admiralty wished to consult them severally 
with regard to details of the scheme, making full 
allowance for the great variety in local conditions. 
Perhaps the best way to start would be "to allocate 
to local purposes certain portions of the subsidies 
already given." At the same time subsidies would, 
he explained, still be gratefully welcomed from any 
Colony which might prefer to continue that form of 
contribution. Then there were the possibilities in 
regard to docks and coaling facilities, which the 
Dominions might be able to provide ; especially 
" Dreadnought " docks, of which there were already 



158 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

thirteen. He suggested that possibly Canada might 
provide such docks at Halifax and Esquimalt, which 
had been handed over to the Dominion. He wished 
to hear what the Dominions had to say on the general 
question. 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier suggested that Australia and 
standard New Zealand should lead off, as they had sent in 
button."" resolutions on the subject of naval defence. Mr. 
Deakin, responding to the call, distinguished between 
the obligations of localised defence and of general 
defence of the Empire, both of which he recognised, 
and laid his finger upon the old difficulty * of the basis 
of contribution : 

" Any consideration I have ever been able to give 
to this question has led me to the reluctant conclusion 
that so far we are unable to find any scheme of the 
measure of responsibility, either particular or general. 
None of the assessments and estimates made for the 
purpose have appeared to me to include all the 
factors to be taken into account, or to have furnished 
anything like an exact proportion between them." 
(R., p. 132.) 

Not in The "monetary standard" on which Australia's 

responsibility was then fixed was not, he submitted, 
the most acceptable standard for Australia or the 
best calculated to further the objects of the Admiralty. 
But the general principle of the basis of contribution 
ought to be considered first of all, as being the " major 
premise " of the whole question ; and he could not 
immediately grasp the general principle in Lord 
Tweedmouth's statement. 

ward Sir Joseph Ward would "subscribe absolutely" 

Admir- to the maxim " Trust the Admiralty," and to the 

postulate " One sea, one Empire, one navy." While 

anxious to co-operate as far as possible with the 

1 Cf . vol. i. ch. ii. 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE IV) 

Commonwealth, he preferred the principle of cash 
contribution for the present, owing to the financial 
difficulty of embarking on the larger policy of local 
naval development. For there were other calls to 
be met : 

" We have still to keep before us, as a young 
country, the fact that in the future many millions of 
money will be required for the country itself to carry 
out great undertakings that in the Old World have 
been carried out, many of them, such, for instance, as 
your railways, by private enterprise." (R, p. 135.) 

At the same time he wished it to be understood 
that New Zealand did not bind herself to the cash 
method in connection with "any future agreement," 
though willing now to increase her subsidy. The 
alternative form of contribution which he would 
prefer would be that of manning Imperial ships with 
Colonial crews, paying the whole of them and thereby 
avoiding the existing difficulty of having two rates 
of pay for men doing the same work in the same 
place, which was the position under the Agreement 
of 1902. He thought also that New Zealand could 

c5 

do something in the way of docks and coaling facilities, 
having abundant supplies of excellent coal available. 
There was already a good dock at Auckland, and 
others were contemplated ; but he suggested that it 
would be a help if the Admiralty would give them an 
indication of the maximum length of ships likely to 
require docking in Australasia, so that new docks 
would not be found to be too short by a few feet 
simply for want of such preliminary guidance. 

Mr. Brodeur, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Canada 
spoke for Canada, naval matters being outside the sented 6 ' n 
Department of Defence. He protested that Canada 
was misrepresented in the circulated document, which 
gave her naval expenditure as nil. There was the 



160 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Fisheries Protection service, costing about 50,000 a 
year, and now involving the provision of a new vessel 
on the Pacific coast, which represented an obligation 
taken off the British taxpayer. The need for the 
service arose largely through the ancient treaty, 1 
made without Canadian assent, by which American 
fishermen were given certain rights in Canadian 
waters. If the cost of fishery protection was included 
in Britain's naval expenditure, why should it not 
likewise be admitted in Canada's account ? Then the 
Dominion recognised the need of navally policing the 
Great Lakes, where it already had an armed boat : 

" I think that three States bordering on the three 
great lakes, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, are spending 
not less than 15,000,000 dollars themselves for keep- 
ing up a navy on these lakes, and are drilling their 
men on the shores of the lakes. Besides they have 
some ships which are not armed, because it would be 
against the conclusions of a treaty ; 2 but built in 
order to be prepared in case of emergency. As far as 
Canada is concerned, one of the first duties we shall 
have to look after is our protection in connection with 
the great lakes. I say that the wars we have had 
since 1763, since Canada has become part of the 
British Empire, came from the United States. We 
had an invasion in 1775, we had an invasion in 1812, 
and we had the Fenian Raids in the Sixties." (R., 
p. 140.) 

Then there was the Naval Militia, in connection 
with the Fisheries Protection service, including a 
cruiser purchased a couple of years since for drilling 
Canadian seamen. Wireless Telegraphy and the 
Hydrographic Survey were other services lately 
undertaken by the Dominion, and involving con- 
siderable expenditure, which should be debited to 
the naval account as was the corresponding ex- 

1 1818. 2 1817. See infra, p. 179. 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE HJ1 

penditure in Britain. The Dominion was at any 
tiino ready to do the hydrographic surveys for 
the Admiralty. Finally the Dominion had lately 
taken over the dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt, 
and was prepared to expend on their upkeep as 
much as the Admiralty had been spending. To be 
" fair," all these items should be allowed as naval 
expenditure in the comparisons that were being 
made. 

Dr. Smartt and Mr. Moor practically spoke for south 
each other in this discussion, the naval ideas of Cape ^"aT" 
Colony and Natal being very similar and capable of el 
adaptation to a joint scheme. They regarded the 
abnormal military expenditure to which their Colonies 
were liable, owing to the large native population, as 
equivalent in principle to the Canadian expenditure 
on policing the fisheries, though theirs was much 
heavier in proportion. But they would not " for one 
moment desire to raise that as an argument " against 
meeting the obligation to assist in the direct naval 
defence of the Empire. They acknowledged that 
the existing contribution was altogether inadequate. 
An attempt was being made in both Colonies to 
create a naval corps, and with a view to arousing 
enthusiasm they desired permission to designate the 
force " Royal " Naval Volunteers. Their intention 
was to introduce legislation whereby the force would 
be enrolled for service in any part of the world, at 
the call of the Admiralty. They further desired that 
in order to provide for practical training at present 
it was all done on land, and the Durban corps was 
practically garrison artillery the Admiralty should 
allow them the use of a small ship, the upkeep of 
which would be defrayed out of the current subsidy. 
Dr. Smartt (and his colleague) fully agreed also as 
to the necessity of assisting the Admiralty by pro- 

VOL. II L 



162 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

viding submarines, not only for coast defence, but for 
the service of any squadron that might be sent out. 
He was sure that "when times improved" the Cape 
Colony, and he hoped also the inland Colonies in 
conjunction, would be prepared to increase the naval 
expenditure which at present only amounted to about 
1 per cent, of the Cape revenue, as against 20 per 
cent, in Britain. He would like the Admiralty to 
prepare a complete scheme for them by way of a 
goal towards which they might work gradually as 
funds permitted. Assistance on the principle of local 
naval development, including the provision of sub- 
marines, " would naturally appeal much more forcibly 
to the people and give them a stronger individual 
interest in the fleet than simply a monetary contribu- 
tion would do." 1 On one point he was able to give 
the Admiralty a timely hint. Local seamen had told 
him that the new " Dreadnought " dock which the 
Admiralty had nearly completed at Simonstown could 
not be entered in all weathers unless protected by 
an additional breakwater. 

Newfound- Sir Robert Bond insisted that like New Zealand 
his Colony could not spare much revenue owing to the 
claims of public works : 

" This is necessarily so, because while the Colony 
that I represent is not like that of my friend Sir 
Joseph Ward, a new Colony, for on the contrary it is 
England's most ancient Colony, still the conditions 
that apply there at the present time are almost 
identical with those that have been portrayed by Sir 
Joseph Ward. The Colony for trie most part is an 
undeveloped one. The expenditure necessary for its 
development must come from the resources of the 
Colony. We stand in an exceptional position amongst 
all other Colonies of the Empire, I think, in that we 

1 K.,p. 142. 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 1C i 

have not received any assistance money assistance, 
I mean in the direction of promoting the industries 
or the development of the Colony." (R., p. 144.) 

Despite the Cinderella touch, Sir Robert Bond was 
able to point to substantial achievement. Under the 
agreement of 1902 the Naval Reserve, liable for 
service in any part of the world, had reached a 
strength of 590 men, and altogether there were 
some 60,000 of these hardy fishermen in the Colony. 
Though the Reserve cost the Colony 5 for every man 
trained, it had been a " very marked success indeed," 
and the Colony would be willing to double its existing 
liability on the same basis. He could claim, with 
even greater force than his Canadian colleague, that 
the Colony should be credited with a large expendi- 
ture on protecting the fisheries against the action of 
foreigners who enjoyed rights under ancient Imperial 
treaties. Newfoundland had to police 4000 miles of 
coast. In addition to the American treaty rights, the 
French were established at the neighbouring islands 
of St. Pierre and Miquelon, and their smuggling 
operations cost the Colony a loss in revenue of over 
30,000 a year. Besides, a modern dock had been 
built at St. John's, and the extensive coalfields of the 
islands were being developed. 

Mr. Moor reiterated Mr. Smartt's arguments. Natai-s 
Through lack of recognition at Imperial headquarters 
the naval corps was " dying of inanition." It had, how- 
ever, played a useful part in suppressing the recent 
native rebellion, which had cost the Colony between 
700,000 and 800,000. Their aim was to " provide 
efficient men and means for being able to govern these 
people without looking to the Home Government " ; 
but that did not deter them from trying to take 
a part in naval defence. A policy of local naval 
development would appeal more to the people than 



164 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

" a cold lump sum, voted on our estimate, for which 
we have no actual evidence as directly concerning the 
people we represent." ] 

Botha's General Botha pointed out that the Transvaal was 

lon ' in the unique position of being an entirely inland 
State. He was " nearly going to say our friends in 
the Mother Country always kept us well away from 
the sea." The main thing was to get the South 
African Colonies federated, at least for defence : 

" What I have in my mind's eye to propose is a 
system of defence for the whole of South Africa, and 
if the Parliament of the Mother Country thinks we 
can aid the Empire in that respect, we shall be pre- 
pared to spend a large sum of money for the object." 
(R, p. 147.) 

Britain's Replying 2 on the discussion Lord Tweedmouth 

shi>~not threw cold water on the idea that the Colonies might 
help by contributing men rather than money or 
facilities of the kind he had indicated. In the 
Admiralty view the wastage in war would be one 
of ships rather than men, and the crews of lost or 
damaged ships would be available for service in others. 
Another point was that it took six years to train a 
man properly, and eight years to give an officer a 
proper start. He thought it necessary to warn the 
Conference that at present the Admiralty had no 
difficulty in obtaining men in fact the supply was 
six times greater than the demand 3 a statement 
which was received with manifest surprise. Also he 
wished to warn them that in future there would be 
"greater concentration of ships " than hitherto. But 
this did not imply any disadvantage in regard to 
" showing the flag " in Colonial waters, as there would 
be frequent visits from bigger ships than those which 

1 R., p. 146. 2 R., p. 148. 3 R., p. 471. 



men. 



IMPERIAL I)i:FKN< I Hi:, 

had hitherto been kept permanently on the outlying 

stations. He admitted that the arrangement of dual 
scales of pay under the Australasian Agreement had not 
worked well, the Australasians living at a higher rate 
than their British comrades on board the ship ; but 
he hoped that this might be remedied by adopting a 
system under which the Australasians would receive 
in the form of deferred pay the excess over the ordi- 
nary rates. Despite the general statement he had 
made, he thought that " there might be a possibility " 
of increasing the Reserve in Newfoundland as the 
Premier of that Colony had suggested. 

At a later sitting l the First Lord was able to Result* of 
announce the results which had been reached by a m 
series of interviews held with the several Colonial 
Ministers at the Admiralty. The difficulty had been, 
as anticipated, the great variety in the wants of the 
various Colonies, but the Admiralty were quite ready 
to meet the case of each individually. While Australia 
wished to terminate the Agreement of 1902 and start 
" something in the way of a local defence force," New 
Zealand had not made it clear whether she would 
prefer to continue the subsidy or go in for submarines. 
The cost of a submarine would be about 50,000 and 
the total maintenance about 8000 a year. The 
Admiralty would make provision for training the men, 
either by receiving them at Home or sending out an 
instruction crew. As to South Africa, his impression 
was that " the South African Colonies as a whole 
would like to have some definite force of their own, 
either a submarine flotilla or help with regard to their 
naval volunteers at Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and 
in Natal." Such flotillas would fly the white ensign, 
but with some distinctive mark, e.g. the Southern 
Cross for Australia. There had been "some ex- 

1 R., p. 469 et seq. 



166 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

aggeration," he admitted, in the idea that Canada 
had been doing nothing for naval defence. He had 
found the Canadian Ministers "very anxious to 
extend" the fisheries protection work, and he hoped 
they might improve the docks at Halifax and Esqui- 
malt. Though there was no " proposition from Canada 
to make any change at all," her Ministers had an- 
nounced their desire " to expand the interest in the 
Navy throughout the Dominion." For practical pur- 
poses, therefore, the business before the Conference 
was to review the situation in regard to the Colonies 
which were already paying subsidies. 

Naval He gave also an interesting explanation 1 of the 

cadetships. g y S t e m of naval cadetships which had been inaugurated 
after the session of 1902. There were eight reserved 
for Australia ; two for New Zealand ; two for the 
Cape ; one for Natal ; and two for other Colonies, in- 
cluding Canada, who had not at the time expressed 
any wish to have any reserved for her. An erroneous 
impression had become current that these cadetships 
were to be filled by nomination simply ; whereas the 
actual arrangement was that the lads were nominated 
for preliminary examination, which they had to pass. 
Those nominated in the Colonies had not been found 
up to the Home standard of education, and quite half 
of them had been rejected. Mr. Deakin remarked 
that all this was " news " to him, no complaints having 
reached him. 

Australia All the Premiers cordially acknowledged the readi- 
ness which the Admiralty had shown to meet their 
several wishes. Mr. Deakin stated that the Aus- 
tralasian Naval Agreement of 1902 had not proved 
" generally popular," but had been accepted pending 
some more satisfactory arrangement. It failed to 
suit the Admiralty because the ships provided under 

1 K., pp. 471-2. 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE H>7 

i t were still to some extent localised ; and it failed to 
suit Australia because it ignored the " local protec- 
tion " which had been the primary motive for entering 
into any such arrangement. (The Australians did 
not care to contemplate having to sit with folded 
hands while a few raiding cruisers bombarded their 
seaports and compelled their extensive coastal shipping 
to lie up in fortified harbours. 1 ) Their demand for a 
change did not arise from any motive of economy, as 
they would be prepared to face a greatly increased 
expenditure under the new system. He went on to with 

,. i / T i Imperial 

emphasise the principle of Imperial co-operation : co-op 

" I quite realise the wisdom of associating any 
local force which we may develop in the closest 
possible manner with the Navy. ... By association 
with the Navy we shall be assisted to keep our local 
vessels, whatever they may be, up to its high standard. 
We shall not be willing in any way to accept for our- 
selves any less degree of proficiency than that which 
His Majesty's Navy enjoys, and by which its reputa- 
tion has been established. A force, small as ours 
must be, would enjoy few, if any, opportunities of 
advancement for officers and men if it were a com- 
pletely isolated service. On the contrary, it has 
everything to gain by being kept in the closest possible 
touch with the Navy, and with all advances as they 
are being made in Naval tactics or training. 

" We recognise this as a further step in the exercise 
of our self-governing powers, with which are properly 
attached the responsibilities which can never be dis- 
sociated from them. Those responsibilities we have 
no desire to avoid; on the contrary we shall assume 
them with confidence in ourselves and in our cause, 
providing, so far as our means and population permit, 
a defence of the harbours of Australia which will be 
an Imperial defence; it will not be the shipping of 

1 Report of Commonwealth Naval Committee on the Imperial Defence 
Committee's Report. P., p. 50. 



168 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Australia alone that will enjoy the protection of our 
ships and forts ; . . but of course the same protection 
will be secured by this means for all British shipping 
and cargoes. The necessary supplies, the necessary 
coal, either for the mercantile marine or for your 
vessels of war, will there be under safe shelter and 
always at hand. Every development of naval force 
in Australia is a development of the naval forces of 
the Empire . . . We look upon any vessels for local 
defence not only as Imperial in the sense of protecting 
Australia, but because they will be capable of co-oper- 
ating with any squadron which you may think fit 
to send into our waters to meet any direct attack 
in proximity to our coasts. In that way, we ought 
to be able, with the type of vessel we shall have, 
when associated with your larger ships, to render ex- 
tremely effective assistance. And so far from the 
termination of this agreement in any way concluding 
our close and intimate relationship with the Imperial 
Navy in Naval Defence, I hope it will be the means 
of enabling us to extend Naval development, in very 
efficient forms, in our own seas, making it of such 
a character as to be of material assistance." (R., pp. 
475-6.) 

New Sir Joseph Ward declared that New Zealand was 

also quite satisfied with the principle of the existing naval 
co-operate. Agreement ; but since it was a tripartite contract 
between Australia, New Zealand, and Britain his 
Colony would not "play dog in the manger" by re- 
fusing to terminate it if the Commonwealth desired 
to make a change. He regretted that he had failed 
to elicit from the Admiralty, in their anxiety to avoid 
any appearance of dictation, any expression of their 
preference as between subsidy and submarines, which 
would have guided his judgment. But Lord Tweed- 
mouth again replied that this was not a matter in 
which the Admiralty could undertake to adjudicate. 
He would only say that if a local flotilla were to 



IMI'KIUAL l)l-:il.\< I 169 

be started anywhere, it would be " in everybody's 
inti-i sts that the submarine should have precedence 
over the destroyer type of vessel. 1 

Dr. Smartt was jubilant, having obtained from the south 
Admiralty all the assurances he desired. On the satisfied. 
passage of suitable legislation in the Colonies, defining 
the obligations of the men, the force would be allowed 
the style of Royal Naval Volunteers. A small armed 
vessel, with a nucleus crew, for the purposes of training 
would be furnished out of the existing subsidy, though 
the Admiralty thought that eventually the Colonies 
concerned should undertake this as an additional 
charge. Thirdly, the Admiralty would assist them 
with a scheme for creating a flotilla, whether sub- 
marines or destroyers ; destroyers being preferable in 
the Colonial view on account of the larger facilities 
which these vessels would afford for training. All 
the contemplated expenditures would be chargeable 
against the existing subsidy of 85,000 paid by Cape 
Colony and Natal. 

On behalf of Canada Mr. Brodeur expressed satis- Canada 
faction that Lord Tweedmouth had recognised the cpntnbu- 
injustice of the current notion that the Dominion was 
doing nothing for naval defence. As to direct con- 
tribution in any form to the Navy, there was in 
Canada " only one mind" on that question. He cited 
Sir Charles Tupper, who in a recent article had 
argued strongly that the true interests of the Empire 
were "opposed to the demand for Colonial contribu- 
tions to the Imperial Navy " ; and that Canada had 
been discharging that duty "in the manner most 
conducive to Imperial interests " by undertaking the 
fisheries protection service and relieving the Home 
taxpayer of responsibility for Halifax and Esquimalt, 
which, he stated, had been costing the Admiralty 

1 R., p. 482. 



170 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

185,000 per annum. 1 In conclusion, said Mr. Brodeur, 
Canada would be " very glad to work in co-operation 
with the Imperial authorities, and under the advice 
of an Imperial officer, so far as it is consistent with 
self-government." (E., p. 481.) 

The subject was resumed for a short space at a 
resolution third sitting later on, when Dr. Smartt (C.C.) desired 
to move the following resolution : 

" That this Conference, recognising the vast im- 
portance of the services rendered by the Navy to the 
defence of the Empire and the protection of its trade, 
and the paramount importance of continuing to main- 
tain the Navy in the highest possible state of efficiency, 
considers it to be the duty of the Dominions beyond 
the Seas to make such contribution towards the up- 
keep of the Navy as may be determined by their local 
legislatures the contribution to take the form of a 
grant of money, the establishment of local naval de- 
fence, or such other services, in such manner as may 
be decided upon after consultation with the Admiralty, 
and as would best accord with their varying circum- 
stances." (R., p. 541.) 

opposed Sir Wilfrid Laurier's reply is worth quoting in 

ier ' full, in view of the subsequent naval agitation in 
1909: 

" I am sorry to say, so far as Canada is concerned, 
we cannot agree to the resolution. We took the 
ground many years ago that we had enough to do 
in that respect in our country before committing our- 
selves to a general claim. The Government of Canada 

1 Questioned in the Canadian House of Commons (Dec. 12 and 17, 1906), 
Sir Frederick Borden stated that the estimated cost of the two garrisons for 
maintenance of and repairs to fortifications, buildings, &c., was : Halifax, 
$25,000 per annum ; Esquimalt, $10,000 per annum, or about 7000 for the 
two places. The total amount expended in connection with them by the 
department of Militia and Defence since taking them over was, from June 
30, 1904, to Oct. 31, 1906 : Halifax, $982,468 ; Esquimalt, $161,209 ; total 
$1,143,677, or about 228,740, being at the rate of about 123,745 a year. 



IMPERIAL DEFENCK 171 

has done a great deal in that respect. Our action 
was not understood, but I was glad to see that the 
first Lord of the Admiralty admitted we had done 
much more than he was aware of. It is impossible, 
in my humble opinion, to have a uniform policy in 
this matter, the disproportion is too great between the 
Mother Country and the Colonies. We have too 
much to do otherwise ; in the Mother Country, you 
must remember, they have no expenses to incur with 
regard to public works ; whereas in most of the 
Colonies, certainly in Canada, we have to tax our- 
selves to the utmost of our resources in the develop- 
ment of our country, and we could not contribute, or 
undertake to do more than we are doing in that way. 
For my part, if the motion were pressed to a con- 
clusion, I should have to vote against it." (R., p. 542.) 

Dr. Smartt was entirely unconvinced by the and 
Canadian Premier's argument. The public works re- 
ferred to were, he pointed out, generally of a repro- 
ductive character, calculated to open up the country. 
He had carefully worded his draft resolution so as 
to cover any form of contribution, including those 
services in the nature of local defence which he had 
understood the Canadian Ministers to approve in 
principle. He wanted something more from the Con- 
ference than the " pious affirmation " of which they 
had had so much. But Sir Wilfrid Laurier's reply 
was brief: "I have said all I have to say on the 
subject." No other Member objected to the suggested 
resolution ; but since it could not be passed unani- 
mously, they agreed that it had better be dropped. 

Thus it was reserved for the Canadian Prime The 
Minister to fall back upon a plea which belongs dis- R iing 
tinctively to the Colonial rather than to the national 
phase of political development, and which seems to 
have been felt by all who beard him to be both un- 
convincing and incongruous with the seniority of the 



172 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Dominion. As he himself had indicated, the struggling- 
community argument against defensive preparations 
was common to all sections of the Canadian people 
"many years ago." But the whole significance of 
more recent years had been the evolution of Canada 
from colony to nation, implying a fuller recognition 
of national responsibilities. In the earlier stages of 
the discussion Mr. Brodeur had refrained from re- 
viving the formerly popular argument of Canadian 
statesmen that works of development notably the 
Canadian-Pacific Railway, which had opened an alter- 
native line of communication with India were equiva- 
lent to direct military and naval preparations as a 
contribution to Imperial defence ; but in the end that 
familiar ground was reoccupied by Sir Wilfrid Laurier. 
Englishmen have, naturally, never been able to sym- 
pathise with the theory that effective provision for 
national defence is a matter to be postponed to a 
millennium which the Premier of Newfoundland had 
intimated l was no nearer after four hundred years 
when the community would require no more " public 
works." According to that old Colonial view Britain's 
vast expenditure on the Navy and Army was a 
luxury which she would have found it necessary 
and easy to curtail had there been any conflicting 
demands for expenditure on " development." To most 
based on a Englishmen no suggestion could be more fantastic. 
They are painfully conscious of being confronted with 
an urgent need for heavy expenditure on various 
purposes classed as social reform ; a need which is the 
penalty of an ancient country as contrasted with a 
new one, and demanding an annual outlay probably 
not less heavy, but certainly much less directly repro- 
ductive than the expenditure necessary for opening 
up the virgin resources of younger countries. From 

1 Supra, p. 162. 



IMIM-IIIAL DEFENCK 173 

the sense of that need have arisen the alternative 
policies for meeting it ; on the one hand the agitation 
for a progressive reduction of the navy estimates, 
and on the other the conception of an Imperial 
union for distributing the inevitable burden over a 
larger number of shoulders so as to make it lighter 
for each unit than it would ultimately have to 
become if they were severally isolated. Conflicting 
as may appear to be the respective philosophies 
of the " little-navyites " and the Imperial-unionists, 
both schools subscribe the belief that the continual 
growth of the defence estimates is an obstacle 
to providing on an adequate scale the funds which 
are urgently required, not for the exhilarating 
work of developing untouched national assets at a 
handsome rate of profit, but for the wholesale re- 
planning of unhealthy cities, the resuscitation of a 
neglected agriculture, the modernising of national 
highways, and, generally, the renewal of an ancient 
economic and social structure which cannot be neglected 
without danger of catastrophe. Surely the time had 
already gone by, in 1907, for statesmen of the lead- 
ing Dominion to suggest that the British people 
were spending annually on the Navy not less than 
33,000,000, already a fifth of their total revenue, 
merely because they did not know what else to do 
with their money rather than because the power of 
effective defence is for every country the sole effective 
guarantee of national security. 

Canadian events in 1909, following: Sir Edward Laimer-s 

n v i i i political 

(jrrey s startling speech on the international situation, difficulty. 
were destined to show that in 1907 Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
had not spoken for all sections of the Canadian people, 
but also to demonstrate the insight with which he 
had appraised the factors of a political situation. It 
then became apparent once more that French-Canadian 



174 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

tribalism, under the rising and formidable leadership 
of Mr. Henri Bourassa, was opposed to naval ex- 
penditure in any shape whatsoever ; and that the 
new foreign element in the west, not sharing the 
antagonism of Canadian national sentiment to the 
idea of dependence on the United States, was inclined 
to support Quebec in this matter. Assuming that Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier, as a party leader, felt unable to risk 
a further alienation of those considerable sections, it 
becomes easy to understand his negative attitude at 
the Conference and the difficulty in which it placed 
him there. Faced with the necessity of defending 
that attitude, the only alternatives open to him were 
either to pretend that the extent of Canada's naval 
enterprise had been misunderstood, or to fall back 
upon the less dignified plea of the old colonialism and 
ask sympathy for a struggling community. Had it 
not been for the final pressure of the Cape resolution, 
he would have succeeded in avoiding the second 
alternative, which may well have appeared the 
harsher horn of the dilemma. 

The But had he felt free to approach the question from 

standpoint, the Canadian nationalist standpoint which he was 
accustomed to profess, Sir Wilfrid Laurier might have 
found in the demand of the Admiralty for continuous 
control a sufficient reason for refusing to associate the 
Dominion with their official British policy. That line 
of objection would not, however, have met his actual 
difficulty, because it would not have afforded a reason 
for doing nothing at all. A nationalist policy would 
recognise the importance of creating a fleet unit, 
capable of acting effectively in whatever international 
combination might appear to be the best available 
for safeguarding the interests of the country with 
the least sacrifice of independence ; isolation being 
admittedly impracticable for Canada. The choice 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 175 

before the Dominion was, and remains, that between 
an Imperial and an American alliance. In either case 
the necessity would be the same of undertaking a 
policy of naval development, unless the country were 
prepared to accept a nominal equality of status con- 
cealing, for a time perhaps, the reality of subordina- 
tion. There was, however, a more general reason for 
the apparent tardiness of the Dominion to recognise the 
situation. Apart from the exigencies of the balance 
of power in the federal politics of the Dominion, the 
influence of the neighbouring nation on Canadian American 
thought can never be lost sight of. Up to the timeLnCana^ 
of the war with Spain, which was less than ten years th^ight. 
before 1907, the Americans had clung tenaciously to 
the theory that naval power was unnecessary to them ; 
not because they regarded the reign of force as an 
international fallacy or aberration, but simply because 
their continental position seemed to render them 
sufficiently secure. That comfortable doctrine would 
probably have been doomed by the growth of national 
interest in the question of export markets ; even if 
the acquisition of oversea dependencies had not dissi- 
pated it at once. The United States had now entered 
definitely on a policy of naval expansion, in which 
Canada would be required sooner or later to participate 
fully if committed to the Republic in a continental 
alliance. But the influence of the century-old American 
doctrine of the superfluity of naval defence had per- 
meated the Canadian people, and could hardly be 
shaken off in a moment unless by some such sudden 
and decisive experience as overtook the Americans. 
In going back to Canada with the record of having 
declined to countenance any positive policy of naval 
development Sir Wilfrid Laurier may, after all, have 
justified his claim to speak for the country as a 
whole. 



176 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Theim- Nor, from the Imperialist standpoint, should the 

standpoint, negative attitude of the Dominion at this session be 
regarded off-hand as a set-back to the movement 
towards closer union. Logically, and also as a matter 
of expediency, union for defence follows rather than 
precedes union in regard to those primary interests 
for which defence is required. The refusal of Im- 
perial Reciprocity by the British Government was a 
refusal to adopt measures for trying to ensure a per- 
petual community of vital interest, as between the 
nations who it was suggested should combine in 
perpetuity for naval defence. This, again, might be 
no justification for any reluctance on the part of 
Canada to enter on a policy of national naval de- 
velopment. But it would be an entirely adequate 
reason, considering the manifest choice of destinies 
open to her, for refusing to hasten with the policy of 
Imperial alliance. If that delay served at all to 
direct public attention which otherwise might have 
been blinded by the bolder attitude of the other 
Dominions to the law of nature which is funda- 
mental in the science of State-making, the part 
played by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in this session was as 
useful to the Imperial cause as that played by any 
other member. 

Australia In the public eye the traditional hegemony of the 
Imperial movement had passed from the Dominion to 
the Commonwealth. Certainly, Mr. Deakin had ex- 
emplified in the naval discussion, as in his treatment 
of the constitutional question, the spirit of a con- 
structive statesmanship both national and Imperial. 
Whether conscious or not of the possible difficulties 
in store for those who might undertake to adopt the 
Admiralty's suggestions as a starting-point for the 
development of naval alliance, he was not deterred 
from going boldly forward to meet those difficulties 



IMIM1IU AL DEFENCE 177 

should they really arise. It is only thus, and not by 
refusing to move until all possible contingencies have 
been probed, that progress is possible in the path of 
closer union. But the Australian statesman who had QUOHU.-M 
attended the original Conference in 1887 left the standard 
meeting in 1907 without having come any nearer to button, 
a solution of the primary difficulty on which he had 
ag:iin fastened after an interval of twenty years. 
Granting that it is desirable to develop a joint naval 
defence for the Empire, whether the principle be 
Colonial Dependence or Imperial Partnership, what 
is to be the standard of contribution ? That question, 
insoluble in 1887, is insoluble still. Yet the problem 
is, perhaps, somewhat simpler than it was. If Im- 
perial Partnership is now accepted as the system to 
aim at, the national autonomy which it postulates 
prohibits the idea of any assessment being made by 
any authority other than that of each Government for 
itself. The utmost the Imperial Conference could 
ever do would be to lay down some standard and 
leave the Governments severally to decide how far 
they would conform to it. But what standard can 
be suggested ? As Mr. Deakin observed, 1 and as the 
first session of the Conference had long ago sufficed to 
demonstrate, none of the conventional standards 
population, commerce, or the like could be applied 
with a "fair" result as between the component units 
of the British Empire. 

To fall back on an abstract instead of a concrete "Equality 
standard, a principle admitting of general acceptance fief" 5 " 
may perhaps be found in " equality of sacrifice." E 
That standard would at least admit the distinction 
which all the Dominion representatives instinctively 
draw, though they do not always assign it to the 
right origin, between the taxable capacity of Britain 

1 Supra, p. 158. 
VOL. II M 



178 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

on the one hand, and of the Dominions themselves on 
the other. It seems to be true that, despite its 
uniquely large proportion of people living " on the 
verge of hunger," the taxable capacity of Britain per 
head is much greater than that of the Dominions. 
If so, the difference is not due to the alleged but 
quite fallacious immunity of Britain from the neces- 
sity of large expenditure upon public works. It arises 
rather from the circumstance of a vast accumulation 
of capital, implying a relatively large number of re- 
latively large private incomes derived from invested 
funds. The now recognised and popular distinction 
between " earned " and " unearned " income seems to 
have an analogy in national revenues, and to affect 
earned" the application of the principle " equality of sacrifice " 
as between the Old Country and the younger 
partners. In a general sense the exchequer of the 
United Kingdom may be said to receive the largest 
proportion of " unearned " revenue, viz. that which is 
yielded by the Death Duties, the higher rates of 
Income Tax, and the Customs Duties on a very narrow 
range of luxuries which might be greatly extended. 
On the other hand, the revenues of the Dominions 
are mainly "earned," in so far as they are derived 
from salaried and wage-earning classes, and as such 
they would equitably contribute at a relatively lower 
rate to objects of joint Imperial concern. 

Defence The future alone can show whether in practice 

fenoM a system of Imperial Partnership for defence, satis- 
/ed> factory to all the units of the Imperial Conference, 
can be framed and operated on an agreed basis of 
equality of sacrifice ; or whether no expedient short 
of Imperial Federation can solve the problem. In 
either connection the revenue derivable from an Im- 
perial system of preferential tariffs which would be 
administered in the one case severally and in the 



IMPERIAL DEFENCE 179 

other case federally seems still to offer the most 
hopeful line of investigation and policy. Not only is 
Customs revenue the easiest to obtain under the pre- 
valent economic conditions of the Empire as a whole, 
but the system of mutual preference in trade recog- 
nises and affirms the principle of economic inter- 
dependence which is presupposed in any policy of 
permanent union for defence. On the part of com- 
munities trying to grope towards organic union a 
deliberate divorce between trade and defence is an 
elementary and disastrous blunder. 



WARSHIPS ON THE GREAT LAKES 

THK following were the provisions of the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817, which 
does not appear to be given in Hertslet's Treatiei or textually in any of the 
Canadian histories : 

" That the Naval Force to be maintained upon the American Lakes by 

His Majesty and the Government of the United States shall henceforth 

be confined to the following vessels on each side, that is 

"On Lake Ontario to one vessel not exceeding one hundred tons 

burthen, and armed with one eighteen-pound cannon. 

" On the Upper Lakes to two vessels not exceeding like burthen each 

and armed with like force. 

" On the waters of Lake Champlain to one vessel not exceeding like 

burthen and armed with like force." 

It was further agreed that " all other armed vessels on these Lakes shall be 
forthwith dismantled, and that no other vessels of war shall be there built or 
armed"; and that, "if either party shall hereafter be desirous of annulling 
this Stipulation, and should give notice to that effect to the other Party, it 
shall cease to be binding after the expiration of six months from the date of 
such notice." Finally, " the naval force so to be limited shall be restricted to 
such services as will in no respect interfere with the proper duties of the 
armed vessels of the other Party." (Foreign Office, Treaties Protocols ~- .) 

Lately Sir Wilfrid Laurier was reported (Times, April llth, 1911) to have 
stated in reply to questions in the Canadian Parliament that there are now six 
United States "training vessels" on the Great Lakes; of which one is armed 
with 1G guns, two with 14 guns each, and the others with from 4 to 10 
guns each. It is reported also that no less than nine armed vessels are to 
take part in manoeuvres on the Lakes, some of them being passed through 
the Canadian canals by permission of the Canadian Government. 



CHAPTER XIII 



First in- 
trusion of 
" party." 



Prefer- 
ence a non- 
party 

question in 
Dominions, 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 1 

" To us it appears that henceforth the individual will become more 
and more dependent upon the social and national structure in which he 
finds a place. It makes all the difference whether you are grains of sand 
or the same grains compacted into solid rock. Anything that encourages 
the development of Imperial organisation, which, without limiting the 
self-governing powers of the several parts, or unduly trespassing on 
the individual liberty of the citizen, shall compact them together in 
co-operative relations, for the discharge of social duties, political obliga- 
tions, and industrial efforts every possible increase in co-operation 
marks a higher stage in civilisation, giving greater opportunities to the 
individual and greater strength to the nation. That is a political 
gospel." (Mr. DEAKIN at the beginning of the Preference debate. R., 
p. 238.) 

" Is our party system to destroy everything except itself ? Are we 
to put aside great projects because they are debatable, or close the 
Empire to avoid friction in the House of Commons ? " (Mr. DEAKIN 
at the end of the Preference debate. R., p. 418.) 

THE great debate on Preference at the session of 
1907 affords the first example in the history of the 
Conference of any subject for discussion being treated 
by any of the speakers in a "party" spirit. This 
unhappy but transient innovation transient because 
the conditions which produced it were of a transitory 
kind arose inevitably out of contemporary circum- 
stances. Except in Britain where public opinion and 
parties were still divided on the question, Imperial 
Reciprocity was an agreed policy throughout the 

1 Mr. Churchill boasted at Edinburgh on May 18th, after the end of the 
Conference, that the Government had " banged, barred, and bolted" the door 
on Imperial Reciprocity, and declared that they "would not concede one 
inch, they would not give one farthing preference on a single peppercorn." 

(Morning Post, May 20, 1907.) 

180 



PREFERENCETHE BANGKD DOOR isl 

Kmpire. The motion to reailirm in its entirety the 
leading Resolution of 1902, which advocated the prin- 
ciple of mutual Preference, was supported by all the 
Dominions at the session of 1907. Among their 
representatives were Sir Robert Bond (Newfound- 
land), though he was still striving for the Hay-Bond 
convention which would have prohibited Imperial 
Preference ; and also General Botha (Transvaal), whose 
subsequent action was destined to justify Dr. Jameson's 
warning that one-sided Preference had no assured 
future in South Africa. As regards the Dominions, 
therefore, Imperial Reciprocity was an agreed policy, 
though in most of them there was as several spokes- 
men indicated 1 a vocal minority against an indefinite 
continuance of one-sided Preference. 

Very different was the position of Liberal Ministers but not in 
in Britain. Their party, previously moribund, had 
suddenly been stimulated into new life by the heaven- 
sent elixir of the " little loaf." To avoid the too 
palpable absurdity of trying to argue that a duty of 
2s. a quarter on foreign corn would mean starvation, 
they had been constrained to invoke the " thin edge 
of the wedge," and in the name of that doctrine of 
timidity to pledge themselves absolutely against 
countenancing the smallest departure, no matter how 
trivial in itself, from the principles of the existing 
fiscal system, one of which was that no differentiation 
should ever be allowed in favour of British as against 
foreign traders. For all practical purposes the " fetish " Free Trade 
or ''superstition" of mis-called Free Trade had never 
before received so abject a recognition. Having rushed 
too hastily into that narrow and ultimately fatal 
cul-de-sac, the Liberals as a party had no choice but 
to remain there. To make any concession, however 

1 Cf. infra, p. 215. 



182 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

slight, to Preference would afford the country a 
practical experience of Imperial Reciprocity, which 
would thus have been established in principle ; and 
would inevitably create a demand for a wider appli- 
cation of a system thus tried and found good. Given 
the small experiment, it would be found that food was 
not dearer, and that the Colonial demand for British 
' goods was increasing. So the "cry" which had 
brought the Liberals into office, and on which alone 
they could rely to keep them there, would be at once 
discredited. Their pledge to the Fetish would become 
a political millstone, submerging them at every general 
election until they could make up their minds to cast 
it off by repudiation. 

Cosmo- If as party men the Liberal Ministers were thus 

pohtamsm manac i e( j fa the Fetish, as statesmen they were, for 
^ Q fcj me being, absorbed in a special policy of inter- 
nationalism, based on disarmament, which in their 
view offered an alternative and preferable method 
to that of Imperial union for securing the primary 
interests of the British Islands. Thus they had no 
practical interest of any kind in the Conference, 
except in so far as its session would for a time rivet 
public attention, and might give the other party a 
handle against them unless they could contrive some- 
how to turn it to their own account. The situation, 
when the subject of Preference was reached, was quite 
different from that which had confronted them in 
connection with the discussions on the Constitution 
and on Defence. In relation to those matters it was 
not their party interests so much as their credulous 
internationalism, rendering them apathetic towards 
the Imperial movement generally, that had damped 
the prospects of this session. The proposal to equip 
the Conference with a secretarial staff of its own, 
which would represent all the associated Governments 



PREFERENCETHE BANGED DOOR L04 

equally, had nothing in it to antagonise anything 
that could be called Liberal principle. On the 
contrary it was intrinsically the kind of proposal, 
tending further to emancipate the Colonies from 
restriction or tutelage, that a Liberal Government 
having any sense of interest in the matter might 
have been expected to take up with some enthusiasm, 
and to defend against official strangulation. In the 
same way there was nothing on the score of Liberal 
principle, but rather the reverse, to prevent the 
Government from taking up that question of control 
which had been obscured in the Admiralty's state- 
ment of policy, and settling it in a manner conform- 
able with the idea of national autonomy in Imperial 
alliance. That, again, would have been not only a 
public service but a vindication of Liberal principle, 
had the motive to action not been lost in the superior 
attractiveness of cosmopolitanism. But at once, when 
the subject of Preference came up, apathy gave way 
to feverish anxiety, the anxiety of politicians whose 
party interests are threatened. 

No deep study of political affairs in any of the character 
British democracies is necessary in order to dis- on 
tinguish by their respective utterances the politician 
dominated by the party game and the statesman 
who, whatever may be his party affiliations, is able 
to consider on its intrinsic merits a proposal put for- 
ward by friends of his country as being important 
to its future welfare. In the discussion now under 
review which, owing to the party feature, more 
nearly than any other resembled a parliamentary 
debate the opening speeches of the leading states- 
men from the Dominions were all alike characterised 
by an inspiring breadth of view, manifest intensity 
of conviction, and spontaneous logic in the develop- 
ment of their argument. In contrast to them, the 



184 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

replies of Liberal Ministers and their subordinates 
were not essentially different in character from the 
ordinary performances of a party duel, with all the 
vices fostered by the atmosphere and exigencies of 
that arena. Mr. Asquith, then Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, showed to the worst advantage (though 
rivalled by Mr. Churchill), his tone being always 
petulant and sometimes snappish. His main address 
was the typical pleading of a political lawyer with a 
difficult case to defend against common-sense. Taking 
it in conjunction with the speeches of his colleagues, 
the combined statement of the Government resolved 
itself into a series of positions which were not only 
negative but mutually destructive. As such it lent 
itself to easy (and therefore irritating) demolition at 
the hands of those whose proposals were thus " turned 
down," and who themselves were no novices at parlia- 
mentary play. 

party Inevitably, under such conditions, the session of 

British 1907 was attended with friction both within and 
Ministers, ^^out the chamber. The British Ministers seem 
to have come there with the idea of extracting from 
the Dominion representatives some justification for 
certain campaign statements which had been made 
on Liberal platforms throughout the country. For 
example, the Liberals were committed to the general 
proposition that, if one section in the mother country 
did not like the idea of Reciprocity, that policy must 
be bad for closer Imperial union. Another and more 
detailed contention had been that Britain could not 
give preference without putting a duty on raw mate- 
rials, particularly raw wool, which the Tariff Reformers 
had always denied was necessary to or included in 
Asquith their policy. Having made the assertion over and 
nts epre over again, Mr. Asquith seems to have relied on his 
forensic ingenuity to extort some kind of endorsement 



l'KKlT,m.N(T, THK BANGED DOOR 185 

for it at the Conference. But his complete failure 
to do so, after employing every artifice, did not deter 
him from taking advantage of the postponement of 
the Report to imply in a public speech that he 
had succeeded ; thereby provoking an immediate and 
painful castigation from a straightforward Australian 
Minister. 1 Another flagrant example of Mr. Asquith's 
political imscrupulousness was given some years later, 
when the contents of the full report of the Conference 
might be supposed to have passed out of the public 
mind. He had the audacity to declare that Mr. 
Deakin alone of all the Premiers had refused to 
concede to the mother country the same fiscal liberty 
which the Dominions enjoyed ; the truth being that 
Mr. Deakin had, on the contrary, been foremost in 
asserting that very principle. Further on in this 
chapter the Australian Premier's unequivocal declara- 
tions will be quoted. Here it will suffice, by way 
of substantiating the statement that the attitude of 
the Liberal Government has throughout been purely 
partisan in the worst sense, to contrast Mr. Asquith's 
ample acknowledgment at the time of Mr. Deakin's 
position with his diametrically opposite statement a 
few years later : 

1 Addressing the London Chamber of Commerce Sir William Lyne said : 
" It has been frequently stated, or rather mis-stated, that the Colonies 
demanded from Great Britain a dnty on raw materials. This had been 
repeatedly and consistently denied by the representatives of the Colonies, 
but only as lately as Tuesday night Mr. Asquith repeated in the House of 
Commons the statement that 'you cannot give a Preference unless you 
impose a duty on foreign food-stuffs and foreign raw materials. There is 
no way under heaven by which the thing can be done except that.' After 
the declarations of the various Colonial Ministers that they did not ask for 
any Preference on raw materials, such as wool, cotton, &c., he was extremely 
surprised to find the Chancellor of the Exchequer again making this asser- 
tion. A great manufacturing country such as Great Britain would be mad 
to impose a tax on raw materials from which she manufactured her goods 
for export. Such a thing had not been suggested by the Colonial repre- 
sentatives, and it created a very bad impression to find a member of the 
G'ivi rnmcnt repeating this fiction." (Morniny Pott, May 16, 1907.) 



186 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier has often " I listened to the whole of 

said, I know . . . that in this the debate most carefully at the 
matter (Imperial Preference) each Colonial Conference of 1907, and 
community of the Empire must I think that, with the exception of 
primarily pay regard to the in- Mr. Deakin, I am right in saying 
terests of its own members, and that every one of the eminent 
I was very glad to hear that state- Colonial statesmen who appeared, 
ment reiterated with great emphasis representing their own Dominions, 
and explicitness by Mr. Deakin more was most careful to make it clear 
than once in the course of his speech. that he did not desire to initiate 
There we are all agreed" (R., p. or even suggest any change in our 
305.) own fiscal arrangements which was 

not for the interest of our popula- 
tion." (House of Commons. Times, 
July 21, 1910.) 

Partisan The circumstance that the British Prime Minister 

waited to commit this inexcusable misrepresentation 
until after the defeat of Mr. Deakin's party at the 
Commonwealth polls, when the Australian ex-Premier 
would no longer be able to protest against it officially, 
seems to illustrate the intensity of the partisan 
hatred which he had incurred in British Liberal 
quarters. Mr. Deakin's most prejudiced opponents 
had not failed to recognise how powerful, and how 
stimulating to British Imperial-unionists, had been 
his presentation at this Conference of the case for 
mutual Preference. But it was not on his own 
initiative that he opened the discussion, although 
the principal Resolution on the agenda was that 
which the Commonwealth had sent in. Called upon 
by the chairman to begin, he deferred to the 
seniority of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. 

The Canadian Prime Minister had very little to 
sav his Government had submitted no advance 
resolutions at all but that little was very much to 
the point and wholly constructive. Having read 
out the five-section Resolution of 1902, he stated 
that the Canadian Government adhered thereto, and 
had no other to propose. In due course he would 



PREFERENCE THE H.\v,i.i> DOOR 187 

move that it should be re-adopted. Australia, he 
noted, was proposing to reaffirm only the first three 
sections, substituting for the rest a new Resolution 
which hardly seemed to differ in intention. 

Mr. Deakin at once explained the purpose of the Dekin' 
alteration. The 1902 section which asked for pre- fayoured- 
ference in the United Kingdom, " either by exemp- ciaue. 
tion from or reduction of" duties, did not cover all 
the methods of the existing Colonial preferences. 1 
Wishing to suggest a wider policy than that of the 
old Resolution, he had drafted the following : 

" That it is desirable that the preferential treat- 
ment accorded by the Colonies to the products and 
manufactures of the United Kingdom be also granted 
to the products and manufactures of other self-govern- 
ing Colonies." 

"That it is desirable that the United Kingdom 
grant preferential treatment to the products and 
manufactures of the Colonies." (Cd. 3337, p. 6.) 

It will be seen that while the last section of this 
new resolution did, as Sir Wilfrid Laurier had re- 
marked, practically duplicate the intention of the 
old one, the first section affirmed a new principle 
of far-reaching importance. It proposed what might 
be clumsily described as an inter-Imperial most- 
favoured-nation clause. In terms this was limited 
to an inter-Dominion arrangement, presumably be- 
cause it would have been premature to suggest 
reciprocal adhesion on the part of Britain until that Empire 
country had adopted the principle of Preference. " most- 
But there can be little doubt that any protectionist nation* 
Government in Britain would readily agree to an 
arrangement under which any preference obtained 
by any one State from any other within the Empire 

1 Inter alia, there was the method of giving Preference by raising the 
scale of duties on foreign goods. 



188 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

should be automatically extended to the like products 
of all the others. This would certainly simplify the 
working of Imperial Reciprocity. Each Dominion 
would naturally seek to get preference in Britain 
on those products in which it was particularly in- 
terested ; e.g. Canada on wheat and flour ; Australia 
and New Zealand on dairy produce and meat ; South 
Africa on wine and tobacco. But the principal pro- 
ducts of any Dominion are, generally speaking, either 
principal or secondary products of others also ; so 
that concessions obtained by the stronger Dominions 
through the superior bargaining power of their home 
markets would redound to the advantage of the 
rest, and inter-Imperial jealousies would be avoided. 
The British tariff would then be uniform for all, and 
so would the tariffs of the Dominions, which have 
contained in some cases differential rates as between 
countries within the Empire in consequence of inter- 
colonial preferences. 1 Under Mr. Deakin's resolution, 
India and the Crown Colonies would be excluded from 
the benefit of the intercolonial most-favoured-nation 
system, it having specified "other self-governing" 
Colonies only. As the Cape representatives pointed 
out,* they did not see why they should accede to the 
request of the India Office to extend their preference 
to India so long as that country was forbidden by 
Britain's fetish to reciprocate ; especially when there 
was reason to think that the Indian Government (i.e. 
the India Office in London) were misrepresenting the 
instinct of the Indian people in this matter. 
endorsed Sir Wilfrid Laurier was heartily in favour of the 

r> proposal embodied in the Australian resolution : 

" I should subscribe with both hands to this, and 

1 This was one of the features to which Lord Ripon objected in advance. 
Cf. vol. i. pp. 234-35. 

2 K., p. 345. 



PREFERENCETHE BANGED DOOR is!) 

on behalf of the Government I represent here, and 
the people of Canada, I would be prepared to enter 
into an absolute arrangement. Any preference which 
we give to the Motherland we will give you (Australia), 
expecting that any preference you give to the Mother- 
land you will also give us, and with Sir Joseph Ward's 
Government and the other Governments we will do the 
same." (R., p. 413.) 

But the Canadian Premier desired to make some but 
slight modification in the draft, apparently l with a chairman. 
view to excluding from the scope of the proposed 
arrangement any Colony (e.g. Newfoundland) that 
did not give Preference to Britain. The result of 
this delay was that the motion seems never to have 
been put at all. The chairman, representing a 
purely obstructionist Government, was not likely 
to bother himself about it, and the omission on bis 
part seems to have passed unnoticed by the others. 
Despite an apparent unanimity in its favour, the 
Resolution does not figure in the official list of those 
passed. 

Mr. Deakin's opening address occupied the whole Doakin'a 

great 

of the eighth sitting of tbe session, and extended Address. 
far into the next. It was indeed a masterly speech, 
especially when one remembers the almost intoler- 
able pressure of outside engagements to whicb the 
Premiers were unwisely subjected by their well- 
meaning hosts, and tbe fact that it was made from 
notes only. More than one of the subsequent 
speakers excused himself from dealing at any length 
with the subject on the ground that Mr. Deakin had 
so fully and faithfully expressed the general view. 
Excepting the British Ministers, none had any criti- 
cism to make of the way in whicb he bad presented 
the case for Preference and Reciprocity. Justice 

1 R., p. 429. 



190 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

could not be done to the speech within the present 
limits of space. All that can here be attempted 
is to notice separately some of the main points of 
principle and detail on which he and others laid 
stress. 

Persistence He began appropriately by drawing attention to 
ence the fact that from the very beginning, in 1887, this 
question of Preferential Trade had dominated the 
interest of the Conference from one meeting to 
another. The culmination had been reached in the 
present meeting, which had been summoned in the 
first instance for the express purpose of dealing 
with the subject. In 1904 Mr. Balfour, then Prime 
Minister of Britain, had received a deputation of 
gentlemen anxious to secure the discussion of de- 
fence questions at the next session of the Conference. 
While assuring them that the Conference would not 
be restricted to any one subject, Mr. Balfour had 
referred to the fiscal controversy as creating an 
"absolute necessity" for summoning it. 1 
based on As to the method of Preference, one fundamental 

autonomy, principle on which Mr. Deakin repeatedly insisted 
and properly, since the British Free Traders had 
been trying hard to work up a bogey on the con- 
trary assumption was that mutual Preference could 
not preclude or threaten the liberty of each auto- 
nomous State to frame its own tariff for itself and 
primarily to suit its domestic interests. Thus the 
fear of inter- Imperial friction was groundless. The 
idea in all forms of trade was mutual advantage. 
Exchange of Preferences should be no exception to 
that rule, but should be as easily compatible with 
mutual goodwill as any other kind of barter : 



1 Perhaps Mr. Balfour was unaware of the 1902 Resolution recommending 
regular quadrennial Conferences. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 191 

"It must yield mutual advantage, and of the value 
of that advantage each party must be the judge. 

" Mr. Asquith I entirely assent to that proposi- 
tion, if I may say so. It admirably states the case. 

" Mr. Deakin That is why the goodwill cannot be 
disturbed. It must always be admitted that each of 
the parties to the bargain must be the best judge of its 
own gain. We may have a strong and clear opinion as 
to how the other bargainer should proceed, in his own 
interests, but after all that is his affair. We may 
regret that we cannot do the business, but necessarily 
we must in every case bow to his decision." (R., p. 235.) 

He did not pretend that the Commonwealth would 
not be glad to have a preference on raw material as 
well as food ; but the question of what articles should 
be dutiable in Britain, or what the rates of duty 
should be, was not one in which Australia could claim 
any voice : 

" It ought to be clearly understood that . . . when National 
the outer Dominions suggest a preference they not only 
believe that you should have the opportunity of profit, 
but also that in considering any proposal for preference 
to them, the first obligation upon every British Parlia- 
ment is to consider its own citizens, its own industries, 
and its own advantage first. So far as you might 
think right to exclude us and every one else from your 
own markets in order to maintain, or retain, or extend 
any kind of production or interest of your own, it would 
be impossible for us to raise one word of complaint. 
That is entirely a matter for the discretion of the 
people and the Parliament of the United Kingdom. 
May I be forgiven for even mentioning this truism, 
because it occasionally is inferred that the attitude we 
adopt is of another character that we are looking for 
some sort of eleemosynary aid which is to be given in 
consideration of our youth and inexperience. We may 
be youthful, but in this matter we are fairly ex- 
perienced. In our own Tariffs we distinctly study our 
own interests, and hold that the same duty rests as 



192 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

seriously upon the Government and representatives of 
the people of this country as it does upon us. We 
approach this question of Preference with that pre- 
liminary admission, it ought not to be necessary to 
mention it, that of course our proposal is made, ad- 
mitting that, first of all, you should consider your 
own industries, your own production and your 
own people, and impose whatever duties you think 
fit in regard to them. 1 Only after that should you 
undertake to go further and enter upon the question 
of Preference, when you see it to be to your advantage 
to do so. I use the word " advantage " in that last 
connection as going perhaps beyond pounds, shillings, 
and pence either in the matter of revenue received 
or preference conceded. If the result of granting a 
preference is, for instance, to largely build up the 
Dominions beyond the Seas, it should be remembered 
that they were, are, and are likely to remain the best 
customers 2 of this country. Consequently you have 
a direct trade interest in multiplying their population 
and increasing their consuming power by means of 
preferences. The question of preference comes in only 
after you have considered your own interests, your own 
social system, your own financial system, your own 
industrial system, and whatever else you think fit to 
take into account." (R., pp. 235-6.) 

" The Commonwealth postulates your absolute 
independence in the judgment you are to exercise. 
We are not pleading for something which is to 
involve sacrifices, but for a co-operation which is to 
be mutually beneficial." (R., p. 258.) 

" Preference begins as a business operation to be 
conducted for business ends." (R., p. 263.) 



1 Thus the/ 1902 Resolution suggested Preference by "reduction of" 
duties in the United Kingdom as an alternative to " exemption from." 

2 New Zealanders purchased per head (1905) 7 5 of British exports. 
South Africans (C.C.) 4 



Australians 
Canadians 
Germans 
Americans 





440 
220 
13 5 
059 



I'HKH.m.MT. TIN-: BANGED DOOR |!> ; 

In some quarters there had been allusions to theNo"ib- 
possibility of finding in other forms of co-operation for prefer- 
a "substitute" for Preference, and the same idea which fa 
was destined to be put forward by the British ho^Tve 
Ministers when, for a very brief space, the conscious- pollcy ' 
ness of the sorry figure they were cutting impelled 
them to think that perhaps they should try to do 
something or other. Mr. Deakin put the idea into 
its right place. " Preferential tariffs are only part 
of the policy of preferential trade." l The notion of 
" substitute " in this context is a fallacy. Preference 
is one among a number of different ways of co- 
operation which by nature are not alternatives to 
each other but are mutually complementary. 2 To 
discuss cables, steamships, emigration, and the like 
does not mean finding a substitute for preferential 
trade. On the contrary, though improved facilities 
of communication by telegraph and steamship, and 
more system in emigration are each in itself most 
desirable objects for joint effort, they are both singly 
and collectively largely dependent on preference in 
trade. Given preferential trade there would be more 
business for the cables, more freights and passengers 
for the steamships, greater inducements for British 
emigrants to settle in the Dominions rather than 
in foreign countries. Conversely, better means of 
communication and systematic direction of British 
man -power to British lands mean greater success 
for preferential trade. These things dovetail, instead 
of being exchangeable pieces. To discuss the sub- 
sidiary methods of co-operation would in any case 
be desirable and profitable ; but to approach them 
by ruling out preferential trade is to mutilate their 
potentialities at the outset and to weaken the motive 
for undertaking them at all. 

1 R., pp. 387, 426. R., pp. 238, 263. 

VOL. II N 



194 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Preference Opponents of Imperial Reciprocity sometimes pre- 
exciude tend that the intention of that policy is to cut the 



Empire off from trade with foreign countries. A 
very different intention appears in the views ex- 
pounded by Colonial statesmen. It will be remem- 
bered that before the Ottawa session Canada, then 
under a Conservative Government, made it quite clear 
that she desired an all-round extension of markets, 1 
and to that policy she has since adhered. That policy 
is not incompatible with Imperial Reciprocity, nor 
antagonistic to it so long as Reciprocity within the 
Empire precedes Reciprocity with foreign countries, 
instead of the order being reversed. Obviously any 
commercial agreement is a condition limiting those 
which follow during its currency. No country can 
make treaties, either within the Empire or outside 
it, without limiting its future freedom of action. The 

' O 

practical question is : Shall the Imperial trade system 
be conditioned and limited by the network of foreign 
treaties, or shall foreign treaties be conditioned and 
limited by the network of inter-Imperial arrange- 
ments? You cannot have it both ways, but you 
but should are free to make your choice. Originally Imperial 
Preference was subject to pre-existing foreign treaties, 
to the extent of being nullified by them. Canada, 
when she led the way, found herself unable to confine 
her preferential tariff to the British Empire unless 
the British treaties with Germany and Belgium were 
denounced. Denounced they were ; and at length 
by this practical action it had been recognised in 
Downing Street that hereafter foreign treaties must 
be subject to Imperial Preference. But the step from 
Preference to Reciprocity within the Empire has been 
delayed. Preference remained unilateral, giving wider 
scope for commercial treaties with foreign countries 

1 See vol. i. p. 166. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 19.-, 

than would have been the case had Reciprocity been 
established forthwith. Canada has already concluded 
a series of arrangements which in actual practice, 
though not in legal theory, may be found to have 
limited for the time being the potentialities of Imperial 
Reciprocity. 

But the not uncommon notion that this policy Deakin _,m 
of foreign commercial treaties, based on an "inter- 
mediate " scale of rates, is peculiar to Canada 
cannot be maintained. In Britain herself the 
official starting-point of the Unionist party in its 
gingerly approximation to Mr. Chamberlain's policy 
was "Retaliation" rather than Imperial Preference. 
Mr. Deakin, of course, always put British before 
foreign trade. But at the session of 1907 he made 
it clear from the beginning that the idea of securing 
better terms from foreign countries was an integral 
part of the Imperial fiscal policy which he advo- 
cated. He complained of the harsh treatment dealt 
to certain Australian products by foreign States, 
notably Germany ; and he looked to a commercially 
united Empire for the remedy : 

'' In modern markets it is the seller who is the 
courtier the buyer is king. That is the key to the 
situation. . . ." (R., pp. 247-8.) 

" The power possessed by the British Empire over 
foreign nations by its possession of a great market 
a market to be opened or closed to some extent or 
any extent is little realised, but the most casual 
observer must recognise the strength of the Empire's 
position, which is certainly enormous, should all its 
component parts, combining together, use their power 
to meet the fiscal attacks of foreign nations upon any 
portion of the Empire. It is a case of all for each 
and each for all. . . ." (R., p. 255.) 

" What I wish to suggest by this line of argu- 
ment is not the adoption of an aggressive commercial 



196 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

policy any more than in other foreign affairs, but 
merely an indication of a freedom and a willingness 
to use the powers which each nation possesses in 
regard to its trade and commerce and the terms on 
which it admits the goods of other countries. We 
should not allow them to lie aside like rusty unused 
weapons, but to hand and ready for use on occasion, 
employing them as they have been employed by 
Germany and the United States and other peoples, 
in order to secure fair business no more than fair 
business. I am not for a moment advocating that 
because the Empire has a giant's strength it should use 
it tyrannously like a giant in relation to small foreign 
communities, or large ones, but merely that its posses- 
sion of power should carry with it a responsibility for 
its exercise at need. We should be quite prepared 
to take whatever steps may be required to free us 
from obviously unfair competition in other markets, 
and to secure our people fair competition all round." 
(R., p. 256.) 

Wanted, A regular system for looking after this part of 

gence 6 the common interest, as well as for the progressive 
em< development of mutual Preference within the Empire, 
was a vision before Mr. Deakin's mind. He had been 
struck with the memorandum 1 in which Sir Edward 
Law, Financial Member in the Government of India, 
had discussed the fiscal relations of India with foreign 
countries in the context of Mr. Chamberlain's pro- 
posals. Mr. Deakin drew attention 2 to the manner 
in which the position of India in relation to each 
country had been analysed by Sir Edward Law ; the 
volume and character of the trade being carefully 
scrutinised in each instance with a view to deter- 
mining its relative value to either party. " That 

1 Printed in Views of the Government of India on the Question of Preferential 
Tariffs, Cd. 1931. Of. Sir Edward Law's Introduction to India and the Empire 
(London, 1908), Mr. M. de P. Webb's excellent book on the same question. 

2 R., p. 236. 



i>m:i'i:m;\n: TIN: HANC;I-;I) ixxw 197 

iiit'mor;in<liim," he remarked, "exhibits exactly the 
method in which in the Commonwealth we endeavour 
to approach any such proposals." Sir Edward Law 
had complained of the deficiency of his materials for 
this task ; and Mr. Deakin had a way of meeting 
such contingencies as well as others. Later on he 
was discussing the potentialities of inter-Colonial 
preferences : 

" Owing to tho similarity of our circumstances inter- 
none of these could have the scope or the value of an p^* 1 
arrangement made between any or all of them and the ences. 
Mother Country if such were possible. But neverthe- 
less, small as these Imperial reciprocities may be, they 
are useful. It is perhaps not altogether beyond the 
horizon of the immediate future to forecast a time 
when, from year to year, or at short periods, some body 
or committee of experts will review the trade of the 
Empire as a whole in order to see if fresh opportunities 
could not be found for directing population and trade, 
not only from the Mother Country to the Dependencies, 
but between these Dominions themselves, in order to 
knit us together eaeh and all." (R., p. 258.) 

At the very beginning of the session Sir Joseph Fiscal 
Ward had suggested x that the proposed Secretariat thesvre- 
would be useful for investigating the details of pre- * 
ferential arrangements, hinting that possibly some- 
thing might be found practicable without involving 
any duties on those articles of food which had been 
so much discussed. Dr. Jameson likewise, at a later 
stage, expressed a hope 2 that the new secretarial staff 
would attend to Imperial tariff questions. 

The Commonwealth Government, charged with the Australia's 
interests of Australia, had a strong motive for desir- during 1 * 
ing Preference in Britain. In Australia, Mr. Deakin P ' 
pointed out, production was increasing much more 

1 R., p. 33. - R., p. 284. 



once. 



198 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

rapidly than population. With labour-saving machin- 
ery and transport facilities the output per head was 
enormous. The growth of population was altogether 
inadequate to absorb in the home market more than 
a fraction of the ever-increasing output of primary 
products. To find expanding markets commensurate 
with the expanding output from the soil had become 
an urgent and difficult problem. The great consuming 
centres of the European continent were barred by 
fiscal barriers. Germany and France were willing 
enough purchasers of Australian wool and ores, 1 to 
work up in their own factories, but they subjected 
foreign meat and other food products to crushing 
restrictions. German subsidised steamers were for- 
bidden by their charters to bring meat, dairy produce, 
or cereals from Australia ; and were that ban removed 
the " sanitary " regulations at German ports would 
remain sufficiently prohibitive. 2 Even in Britain 
Australian dairy produce was handicapped in com- 
petition with Danish by concessions on British rail- 
ways and other special arrangements. Yet it was to 
Britain that the Australian producers, barred out from 
the Continent, were compelled to turn in their quest 

Scope of for an expansive market. The market was there. 

market. Mr. Deakin handed in a statistical table showing " A 
Year's Imports into the United Kingdom of Produce 
other than Wool which Australia could supply." ; 
(The deliberate exclusion of wool was significant.) 
The list, including especially grain, meat, dairy pro- 
duce, and fruit, showed a total importation valued at 
nearly 210,000,000 ; out of which foreign countries 
supplied nearly 160,000,000, and British countries 
less than 51,000,000, including little more than 
10,000,000 from Australia. 

1 In these there had been a very large increase of exports to the 
European continent. 

2 R., p. 244. 3 B., p. 264. 



I'UKFKUFACK TIIK HAMiKl) DOOR 

Here, then, was an ample margin for the expansion Preference 
of Australian exports to Britain if, through Preference mean 
there, the foreign supply could be progressively dis- food, 
placed. All classes of producers in Australia would 
stand to gain. In the more rapid expansion of the 
agricultural population the local manufacturers 1 would 
find a growing home market as well as the British 
manufacturers who would enjoy preference against 
foreign competitors. It would not, in the opinion of 
any of the Dominion statesmen, mean higher prices 
to the consumer in Britain. Present prices were all 
right, but a larger trade at those prices was de- 
sired. As several speakers argued, the competition 
among the favoured sections of suppliers i.e. those 
within Britain herself and the Dominions would be 
amply large and keen enough to keep prices down; 2 
especially when the foreigner would naturally try to 
retain his hold on the market by paying the small 
duty himself, i.e. by taking a reduced profit, so long 
as there was any margin left to him. The displace- 
ment of foreign by Colonial produce would be gradual ; 
the aggregate importation would not vary more than 
it did before ; and the relation of supply to demand 
being thus unaffected, why should prices rise under 
the preferential system ? Trade can be favoured, and 
diverted from one quarter to another, by reducing the 
incidental expenses attending it (e.y. by " exemption 
from or reduction of" import tolls, as proposed in the 
Resolution of 1902) not less effectively and perhaps 
more beneficially to all concerned than by raising the 
level of selling prices. A reduction in the cost of 
marketing has the same effect as an increase of selling 
price in increasing the margin, which is profit, between 
outgoings and receipts. So, to impose an expense on 
one competitor from which the other remains exempt 

1 K., p. 249. Cf. Ward, B., p. 269. 



200 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

is to give preference independently of selling prices. 
Holding this view as to the incidence of the proposed 
differential duties, it was unnecessary for the Colonial 
representatives to argue that any possible increase in 
the cost of living would be more than compensated by 
the quid pro quo. 

The same aspect of the question was emphasised 
by Sir William Lyne, 1 the Australian Minister of 
Trade and Customs, in connection with wheat. 2 Were 
the acreage in Australia greatly increased, as he was 
sure it would be under Preference, the larger traffic 
on the railways would justify the provision by the 
State of more modern equipment for handling the 
grain, and altogether from 3d. to 4d. a bushel would 
be saved in the cost to the grower. Here, again, the 
benefit to be gained by Preference was reduced cost 
of production, not increased selling price in Britain. 
The Cape representatives similarly held, in connection 
with wine and tobacco, that there was an enormous 
commercial gain, irrespective of selling prices, between 
a retail and wholesale system of production and 
marketing. 3 

In all these questions respecting the framing and 
operation of preferential tariffs, especially the incidence 
of the duties, the Dominion Ministers spoke with the 
advantage of practical and extensive experience, which 
the British Ministers did not possess, even had their 
party interests not compelled them ignominiously to 
set the dogma of their master - fetish against the 
evidence, if need be, of all mankind. Mr. Deakin 
protested against the use of " tax " as a synonym for 
" duty," on the ground that it implied confusion of 
thought. " In our experience a duty is not a tax, of 
necessity ; it need not raise prices." 4 It was all a 

1 R., p. 326. 2 Of. Deakin, K., p. 403. 

3 R., p. 403. 4 K., p. 233. 



pm-:i-T.ur.N<T. Tin-: H.\N<;I;I) DOOH 



01 



question of the circun s attending the particular 

case ; especially the proportion of the duty to the 
selling value of the particular article, and the propor- 
tion between the dutiable and the duty-free supplies 
in the total consumption of the country. Such points 
were considered in framing the Australian tariff ; some 
of the duties being designed for revenue only, others 
to foster industries without regard to revenue, while 
others were devised to serve partially both purposes 
at once. Sir Joseph Ward likewise stated : 

" The result of a preference to British goods im- 
ported to New Zealand, from information furnished to 
the Government Department in New Zealand, has not 
brought about an increase in the price of those articles 
to the consumers in New Zealand. On the contrary, 
the increased opportunity for competition between 
British traders by having a preference, by putting a 
duty against foreign countries, has kept the price of 
those articles down." (R., p. 267.) 

A similar statement to the effect that the British 
Preference had forced foreign competitors to reduce 
their prices so as to offset the handicap, was made by 
the Canadian Ministers in their Memorandum of 1902. 1 
Coupling all this first-hand evidence with the experi- 
ence of the shilling corn duty ~ in the United Kingdom 
some years ago, it may be said that the experience of 

1 See vol. i. p. 380. 

- Avrrage prices of British wheat and bread (4 Ib. loaf) : 



Years. 


Duty 
per Quarter. 


Wheat 
per Quarter. 


4-lb Loaf 
in London. 


1864-18(58 (five years) 
1869 


8. d. 

1 
nil 


I. d. 
52 
48 2 


d. 
8-5 
7-7 


1870-1874 (five years) 

1897-1901 (five years) 
1902 


nil 

nil 
1 


54 10 

28 8 
28 1 


8-4 

5-3 

5-2 


1903-1907 (five years) 


nil 


27 8 


5-4 



202 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

the Empire is conclusive against the a priori assertion 
of the British Free Traders that the small and pre- 
ferential duties proposed to be placed on articles of 
which the British supply is very large and expan- 
sive, would finally come to rest on the price in the 
British market. 

Mr. Asquith himself, in his best professorial 
incidence, manner, attempted to state the doctrine of incidence 
in a form which, while not committing him to the 
extreme fallacy that " all duties raise prices " (though 
that was the party platform), might serve to cover 
the opinion that the duties proposed for Imperial 
Preference in Britain would certainly do so : 

" When you impose an import duty upon a com- 
modity which is a necessity of life or of industry, one 
or the other, and when the commodity is of such a 
kind that you cannot substantially make up the supply 
that you want from domestic sources given those 
two conditions, and I carefully limit my proposition in 
that way sooner or later, though the process may be 
delayed or deflected for a time, that duty appears in 
added cost to the consumer." (R., p. 322.) 

On this view, when the Canadian Government 
offered increased concessions in 1902 in return for 
" exemption from " the shilling import duty on corn, 
they were seeking exemption for the British con- 
sumer and not for their own producers. Obviously 
what they really thought was that the duty had 
settled, or was destined to settle eventually, on the 
pocket of the Canadian grain-grower ; and the record 
of prices, so far as that goes, bears out their belief. 
Setting aside, however, the absurdity of opposing 
academic opinion to practical experience on such ques- 
tions of fact, it is worth noting that Mr. Asquith's 
doctrine would promise immunity from any increase 
of price, should duties be imposed, in respect of all 



PREFERENCE .THE BANGK1) ixxw 

those manufactured articles of which Britain produces 
a surplus for export. That, however, has not been 
the doctrine of the Liberal platform. 

Naturally the Dominion representatives were not Theory v. 
to be persuaded that the ignorant conjectures of 
biased politicians were more likely to contain the 
truth of this matter than the evidence they had 
themselves acquired by actual experiment. Several 
of them declared l that if they thought for a moment 
that the duties necessary for Reciprocity in the 
mother country would make life harder for the 
struggling masses, they would never have taken up 
the policy, despite its importance. But in their view 
the apprehension of dearer food was a mere bogey. 
Setting it aside, the practical question was : What 
could the Dominions severally offer to Britain in 
return for the reciprocal preference which they desired? 

The Commonwealth Ministers drew attention to British 
the very unsatisfactory progress of the British export i<S 
trade to Australia. It was stagnant, if not declining. 
Not only British manufactures, but British shipping 
had been relatively losing ground. Sydney harbour, 
where formerly the British flag reigned supreme, was 
nowadays crowded with foreign vessels, 2 great liners 
and cargo ships from Germany, France, and Japan. 
Taking Mr. Holt Schooling's decennial tables, 3 the 
average annual importations from the United Kingdom 
and from foreign countries into Australia showed the 
following result : 

Imports into Australia. 





From 


From 




United Kingdom. 


Foreign Countries. 


1880-89 


. 21,700,000 


6,900,000 


1890-99 


18,400,000 


7,500,000 


1900-05 


20,800,000 


13,700,000 



1 E.g. Ward, infra, p. 209 ; Lyne, R., pp. 324-5 ; Jameson, R., p. 285. 
* K., p. 328. * R., pp. 240-1. 



204 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Thus while the aggregate imports into Australia had 
increased considerably, the enlarged purchasing power 
of that country had gone to provide labour for foreign 
instead of British artisans. In discussing Preference, 
it was always necessary to remember that Australian 
trade was on "an ascending scale." * The figures had 
been analysed in the Commonwealth offices. It was 
found that in various important lines of manufacture 
foreign goods were tending to displace British goods. 
The Australian Government were willing to take 
measures for counteracting this tendency, if the 
British Government would co-operate. It could be 
done, Mr. Deakin declared, without any detriment 
to Australian consumers, because there need be no 
increase of price 2 in order to achieve the object. It 
was believed that British manufacturers could still 
turn out goods as cheaply as any other of their rivals. 
The causes of their failure to keep their lead were 
thought to be found partly in their own conservatism, 
as compared with the more versatile enterprise of their 
protectionist competitors, 3 especially the Germans and 
Americans ; partly in the system of combined State- 
railway and shipping rates through from the German 
factory to the oversea market ; partly in the sub- 
sidising of German ships, which soon managed to get 
return cargoes for the goods they took from Australia ; 
and partly in the expedient of " dumping," i.e. of 
selling surplus stock at cost or under with a view to 
driving out competitors. 

" Substantial " 4 preference in the tariff for British 
ference the manufactures would be, the Australian Premier 
argued, the best way of restoring the trade of the 

1 R, p. 253. 2 R., p. 242. 

3 According to orthodox Cobdenism Protection is a narcotic, numbing 
enterprise ; but even the Free Traders seem to have dropped that part of the 
absurdity now. 

4 R., p. 257. 



pm:Fnm:\n: Tin: HANGKD DOOR ?<r, 

mother country to its former degree of supremacy in 
Australia. It would be a mutual benefit because : 

" If a fair proportion of the 565 millions sterling, 
which is Britain's vast outlay for imported goods, 
came to British Colonies, it would tend greatly to 
increase their wealth and strengthen the British and 
Colonial Navies, and the Empire as a whole. British 
manufacturers are the greatest consumers of Aus- 
tralian raw produce, and their prosperity means the 
promotion and development of the Commonwealth, 
while the success of the foreign manufacturer does 
not necessarily benefit the Australian producer." 
(R, p. 254.) 

Recognising that there was some advantage to 
Australia even in " unilateral " Preference, the Com- 
monwealth had already made a tentative beginning, 
in accordance with the Resolution of 1902. Thorough 
adjustment of the tariff had been unavoidably delayed l 
by the preliminary work of getting the new federal 
machine into running order and had not yet been 
seriously taken in hand. But in 1906 a visit from The New 

ir /- i i , , . , .. Zealand 

Mr. Seddon had occasioned negotiations tor a treaty treaty. 
of Preference between the Commonwealth and New 
Zealand. 2 A special Bill had been prepared to carry out 
the modified form of the proposal which Mr. Seddon's 
successor, Sir Joseph Ward, found himself able to 
accept. 3 Since it involved certain increases of duty, 
the Australian Government had taken the oppor- 
tunity to offset them with preferential reductions on a 
small selection of imports from Britain. But even 
this " minor subsidiary proposal attached to the New 
Zealand Treaty," as Mr. Deakin described it, had 
been jeopardised by events. By the Bill the prefer- 
ence was limited to goods carried in British ships, and 

1 R., p. 412. Supra, p. 46 ; c/. R., pp. 259-61. 

3 Not ratified by the N.Z. Legislature. Cf. infra, App. J. 



206 

quite unexpectedly the Imperial authorities had inti- 
mated that this would involve a breach of treaty 
relations with foreign countries. Then the Labour 
Party had insisted on inserting a clause which the 
Government felt to be quite impracticable, further 
limiting the preference to goods carried in ships 
manned by white labour. It was the end of the 
session ; a general election was imminent ; members 
were already leaving for their constituencies ; and the 
Government chose to pass the Bill with the two 
objectionable features rather than lose it altogether, 
which was the only alternative open to them. 
Approach- But since then there had been the general elec- 
o" g Austl-a . n tion, at which the Government had been returned to 
' power with a more decisive mandate 1 for Preference. 
The first business of the new Parliament would be to 
consider the revision of the whole of the customs 
tariff : 

" In that revision of our customs tariff an excellent 
opportunity for reconsidering our position will occur, 
not only in regard to that Bill, but our position 
generally towards preferential trade from the Aus- 
tralian point of view. As soon as my colleague and 
I return, it will be our duty to lay before Parliament 
the proposals of the Ministry for an Australian tariff. 
One of the chief advantages of our presence here, and 
cause of our interest in this discussion, is because we 
could give almost immediate effect to any alteration 
that may be desired in our fiscal system. In Australia 



1 Mr. Deakin adduced, as "convincing evidence" that the electors had 
given him a mandate for National Protection and Imperial Preference, the 
fact that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. G-. H. Reid), as soon as the House 
met, had " expressly acknowledged that those two issues had been submitted 
to the country and decided beyond any doubt whatever, although that de- 
cision was adverse to himself." (R., p. 360.) He referred also to the action of 
certain Labour members of the British House of Commons who had addressed 
an appeal, on the eve of the elections in Australia, to their comrades there to 
vote down Preference. The response of the electors, Mr Deakin remarked, 
was very much more in favour of Preference than ever before." (R., p. 233.) 



rm:i'i:m:\( i: TIM: HANGED noou 207 

we are never very lon-_c without fiscal amendments of 
some character, but this is a major alteration imply- 
ing a re-examination of the whole of our customs 
schedule. We shall have an opportunity such as 
rarely occurs of reconsidering these questions and of 
dealing with them afresh. This is not the place, of 
course, to outline our Ministerial policy, except to say 
that it involves a reconsideration of this Bill." (R., 
p. 261.) 

He felt able, however, to indicate the general lines O 



on which an increase of the British Preference in the 
Australian tariff might be arranged. The primary 
function of the tariff was to provide a federal revenue, 
and the Commonwealth could not do with less revenue 
than it had hitherto been getting. National Pro- 
tection, Imperial Preference, and power of Retaliation 
against foreign countries were subsidiary aims, in that 
order 1 of importance. But consistently with the 
maintenance of the federal revenue there were several 
ways in which a large measure of British Preference 
might be effected. The Commonwealth imported 
goods to the value of nearly 37,000,000; out of 
which nearly 13,000,000, or about 34 per cent., were 
still on the free list ; while of the remainder nearly 
half, or about 11,000,000, were dutiable at the rate 
of 15 per cent, or under. 2 These two categories offered 
the largest opportunities for Preference. In regard to 
the dutiable list, 15 per cent, was not a high rate for 
Australia. It might either be lowered to the United 
Kingdom or raised to foreign countries, according to 
the particular case. The latter alternative had been 
adopted by other Dominions, and " probably in no 
perceptible degree influences the amount of duties 

1 Cf. R., p. 360, and infra, p. 209. 

* R., p. 250. The average rate of the Australian tariff was 16'8 per 
cent. ; or, reckoning the free list also, 10'8 per cent, on the value of imported 
merchandise. 



208 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

An Em- collected" 1 so that the revenue would be safe while 
list? r it would have the further advantage of furnishing 
leverage for negotiation with foreign countries after- 
wards. In the second place, there was the free list to 
manipulate : 

" More than half the imports that come in free 
are from foreign countries. If the Commonwealth 
were to make British goods alone entitled to a free 
list, making foreign goods now in this class dutiable 
for the future at the rate of 10 per cent., there would 
hardly be any question but that Great Britain would 
in a very short time acquire almost the whole of the 
trade in the goods which she produces that are now 
wholly free in Australia, derived from foreign countries. 
An increase of local production must, of course, be 
allowed for where our circumstances are favourable, 
though the nature of our industries in their relation 
to the general circumstances of our new and sparsely 
populated country modifies the inducement offered in 
many cases. An inspection of the list of goods not 
subject to duty in Australia will show that very few 
of the articles enumerated therein are neither pro- 
duced nor producible in Great Britain. The adoption, 
therefore, of this course would probably be attended 
by an immediate diversion of trade from foreign goods 
to British goods." (R., p. 257.) 

TheAus- Even then the possibilities would not have been 
offer. exhausted, as there would remain the category of 
goods dutiable at between 15 and 25 per cent., 
offering some openings for preferential adjustments. 
Taking into account all three modes (1) the Empire 
free list ; (2) raising duties against the foreigner ; 
(3) lowering them for British trade and reckoning 
an increase of Australian exports as a result of 
reciprocal preference in Britain, there was reason to 
think that British sales to the Commonwealth might 
be increased 50 per cent, by the contemplated " sub- 

1 R., p. 257. 



I'HKI-T.UKNCi: Till! BANdKl) DOOR 209 

stantial preferences." Would the mother country 
respond to the unique opportunity afforded by the 
impending revision? 

" The customs tariff which wo will submit will be 
framed on the same principle which I have been 
enunciating here. Our first consideration will be 
that of the circumstances of Australia and its de- 
mands. The next will be the possibility of giving a 
preference and therefore entering into closer com- 
mercial relations with the Mother Country and our 
sister Dominions. The third will be how far and in 
what degree it shall apply to foreign countries who 
single us out for special disabilities. 

" The larger trade exchange with the Mother 
Country towards which we look, ample in its pro- 
portions and immense in its possibilities, will be 
constantly before us, but the extent to which we can 
approach a complete mutual exchange will, of course, be 
governed by the attitude which is adopted here towards our 
proposals. I think I can fairly say that any encourage- 
ment we may receive will be met, not in a spirit of 
barter, but with a desire to prove our appreciation of 
it and of our family relations." (R., pp. 2G1-2.) 

Such was the Australian offer in 1907. 

Sir J. Ward, who spoke next after Mr. Deakin, The New 
lost no time in following up the Australian offer with offer!'" 
a similar one from New Zealand : 

" I would like briefly to state what the attitude of 
New Zealand in connection with preferential trade is. 
We come here with an honest desire to place our 
position before the British Government, and the 
British people through the British Government, in 
the hope that if they see proper to return the preference 
which we Jiave already on some articles given we should be 
only too glad in that respect to extend the system and have 
them added to on a mutual basis. 

"... If I thought it was going to injure the 
masses of the people of this country, I for one would 
not be favourable to it. I honestly believe preferential 
VOL. II O 



210 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

trade within our own countries would vitalise and add 
to the strength and greatness of the Empire. . . ." 

" We are only too ready to enter into a reciprocal 
treaty with our friends of Australia, to which Mr. 
Deakin has referred. We have also an adjustment 
of the Customs tariff to put on the Statute-book next 
session, and we are most anxious to bring about trade 
relations between the Colonies, and most anxious to 
assist in the development of trade between the old 
world and the newer one. . . ." (R., pp. 266-81.) 

In regard to the effect on the cost of food in Britain : 

" I am as persuaded in my own mind as I am alive 
that the price would be as low by the competition 
and natural rivalry between Canada, Australia, New 
Zealand, and South Africa, as it would have been 
by allowing that product to come in from Russia or 
America." (R., p. 269.) 

He described the preferential tariff of 1903 under 
which duties had been raised on a selected list of 
articles against foreign countries, and deplored the 
fact that nevertheless the exports from Britain to 
the Colony were actually declining. All the growth 
of the import trade had gone to foreign countries, 
whereas " England under Preference ought to have 
the lot." Already the Colony had a combined trade 
of 30,000,000, which added to the Commonwealth's 
made a total of towards 150,000,000 a year. Though 
only "in their infancy," they together were already 
third on the list of Britain's customers, 1 being sur- 



1 Exports of U.K. Produce to 


Average 1904-06. 


Population (circ. ). 


India and Ceylon 
Germany .... 

Australia and N.Z. 
United States 



44,381,000 
29,487,000 
24,896,000 
23,967,000 


300,000,000 
60,000,000 
5,000,000 
75,000,000 




1'KEFERENCE THE BAN(ii:i) DOOR .Ml 

passed by India and Germany alone. And yet they 
were only five millions of people, against sixty mil- 
lions in Germany. What would their trade grow to 
as they developed, and was it of no importance to 
Britain to increase her share? These young countries, 
with their vast tracts of land, still awaiting population 
and development, were surely markets beside which 
the old continental countries would ultimately pale 
into insignificance. He protested against the fallacy 
that " trade follows the flag." It did not follow the 
flag of the sovereign country so much as the flag of 
the regularly-calling ship ; and the policy of foreign 
countries in pushing their shipping was a sure way 
of getting the trade. Besides fiscal Preference, he 
urged the importance to Britain of maintaining an 
adequate staff, like her trade rivals, of intelligence 
officers in all the larger Colonial towns. He also 
urged the policy of making the Suez Canal free to 
British shipping by State payment of tolls, to which 
New Zealand would willingly contribute, so as to 
render that much shorter route available to the 
cargo vessels which were compelled for economy to 
go round Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. 
Yet another urgent project was the old one of the 
trans-Canada mail route, by which he believed that 
the time of transit for mails and passengers from 
Britain to Australasia could be reduced to twenty 
days. Steamships, cables, and preferential trade all 
hung together as parts of one policy. He supported 
the plan of concerted Imperial action for bringing 
pressure on foreign countries to open their markets. 
As to the general question, he was convinced of the 
necessity of reinforcing the ties of sentiment with 
co-operative enterprises of this kind. To stand still 
meant " retrogression " and " drift." 

Dr. Jameson, who followed Sir Joseph Ward, 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Cape claimed for the Cape a share of the credit for the 
pioneer of inception of Preference. The idea initiated by Mr. 
ence? r Hofmeyr in 1887 had been taken up by Mr. Rhodes, 
who in 1890 wrote about it to the Canadian and 
Australian Premiers. When a few years later the 
Chartered Company was established, Mr. Rhodes 
had, " with great difficulty," succeeded in getting 
a clause inserted in the constitution to limit the 
Rhodesian tariff on British goods to 9 per cent., 
with the result that the Rhodesian rate still re- 
mained at 9 per cent., though the rate adopted for 
the rest of the Customs Union had been increased 
to 12 per cent. There was a third name to be 
mentioned : 

" In the Cape and South Africa the practical 
carrying out of Preference with the Mother Country 
was largely helped certainly, I might say, almost 
brought about by Lord Milner. When I mention 
these three names in connection with Preference, I 
think South Africa perhaps has given what I might 
call a useful object-lesson in a subject of this kind 
which affects trie whole Empire, and, as far as the 
leaders of political opinion in South Africa at all 
events are concerned, it was kept outside party 
politics, because I do not think any one could say 
that Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Hofmeyr, and Lord Milner were 
on all-fours in domestic politics in South Africa." 
(R., p. 282.) 

What they desired was some reciprocal preference in 
Britain, however slight, so as to get the principle 
recognised. Once recognised, they believed it would 
grow irresistibly. Of course that was just why some 
people in Britain objected to any concession, but 
surely it was more reasonable to try a small experi- 
ment than to remain enslaved to an abstraction. 
Nor did he agree that in matters of common interest 
there should be no proselytising : 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

" Although it may be presumptuous for some one 
from abroad to influence the people in this country, 
I venture to say it is our duty, if wo can, to influence 
them, even at the cost of being considered pre- 
sumptuous." 1 (R., p. 282.) 

But in fact the British Government, he pointed Britain 
out, had in effect already accepted the principle ofmrtyto 
Imperial Reciprocity. As rulers of Basutoland and O nce? r 
Bechuanaland, which at their request had been 
admitted to the South African Customs Union, they 
were parties to the reciprocal tariff agreements with 
Australasia. This seemed to surprise the British 
Ministers. Mr. Asquith brought the subject back 
to ground more congenial to his party instinct by 
challenging Dr. Jameson point-blank about prefer- 
ence on wool : 

" Mr. Asquith Does wool come within the subject 
matter as to which you think preference ought to be 
given ? 

" Dr. Jameson . . . Wool is a raw material, and 
we do not want to put anything on it " ; 

but they thought that a duty in the Colonies on 
the manufactured products would help the British 
manufacturer to purchase more of the raw article 
from them. Mr. Asquith, however, was not inclined 
to surrender his pet fiction that Preference would 
necessitate a " tax on wool." Without wool, how 
could any preference be given to South Africa, which 
he seemed to think produced nothing else, except 
gold and diamonds. Again Dr. Jameson was quite 
explicit. There were wine and tobacco, ample to 
begin with ; though they looked forward to an 
agricultural development which would make the 

1 Mr. Asquith subsequently conceded this principle in a rather heated 
outburst : " Go and persuade the people of that if you can " (ijc. that Free 
Trade was a " fetish "). (R., p. 317.) 



on wine. 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

range of their exports resemble that of the other 
Dominions. Prior to the Cobden treaty with France 
(1860) the Cape used to send over 800,000 gallons 
of wine to Britain. Under that treaty Britain, in 
return for a reduction of the French duties on her 
manufactures, had reduced the duty on foreign wines 
from 5s. 6d. to 2s. 9d., the latter having been the 
preferential rate on Colonial wines. The abolition 
of the preference had strangled the industry, which 
otherwise might have grown in the meantime to 
enormous proportions, and the exports of Cape wine 
to Britain had dwindled to under 10,000 a year. 1 
Dr. Jameson mentioned that on taking office he had 
written to the Unionist Government about it. " They 
gave me the usual sympathy, but they gave me 
nothing else." 

Preference Discomfited on wool, Mr. Asquith thought he 
had another poser. " Do you know any British 
Government which gives a preference to any form 
of alcohol ? " 2 Yes, the Cape Ministers did know of 
one, viz. the Australian Commonwealth, which gave 
them a preference on their liquors over foreign 
liquors. (So did New Zealand, and, by the effect of 
classification, Canada also.) 

The South Then came the South African offer : 

African 

offer - " Dr. Jameson ... I believe the proposition be- 

fore the Conference is I know it is the proposition 
of Canada that we give, irrespective of the United 
Kingdom giving anything at all, a certain prefer- 
ence, but when the United Kingdom reciprocates, then 
we are all prepared to come forward and give more." 
(R., p. 287.) 

Jameson's Referring to the advance resolution sent in by the 
Cape, warning the British Government that con- 
tinuance of the South African preference might 

1 K, pp. 286, 320, 350. 2 R., p. 286. 



PREFERENCE THE HAN(;i-:n nnou 

depend on reciprocity, he made a statement to 
which subsequent events have given an additional 
interest : 

" I wish to say at once, and emphatically, that 
there is no question of a threat there at all. What 
we are doing is giving a warning from our own 
experience. I am giving my experience that I have 
had at the Cape that the majority, as evidenced by 
the Customs Union, are in favour of Preference. 
I know that in my Cape Parliament there is a 
minority who were not in favour of it, and in fact 
spoke against it, but at the same time that minority 
brought forward an amendment saying that no pre- 
ference should be given unless there was reciprocity. 
Therefore I am justified in saying that the whole 
Colony, with any reciprocity whatever from the 
United Kingdom, would be unanimously in favour of 
Preference. 

" Mr. Deakin We have the same minority. 
" Dr. Jameson I only wanted to emphasise that 
it was not a threat at all, but only that we might 
not be able to hold things together, that the minority 
might become a majority later on, and we who 
believe that this is one of the most important links 
between the various portions of the Empire, are very 
anxious to say that our various Colonies are abso- 
lutely in favour of Preference, if we have a reciprocity, 
however small." 1 (R., pp. 287-8.) 

He confessed to having been "alarmed," if Sir Wil- panada's 

r i -r iiii- i inter- 

irid Laurier would let him say so, at the report mediate 
that Canada was establishing an " intermediate "policy, 
tariff with a view to entering upon foreign treaties 
in advance of Imperial Reciprocity : 

" Suppose a treaty at the intermediate tariff was 
made, say, with the United States for a term of 
years? 

1 A few days later Dr. Jameson called attention to a similar warning 
which Mr. Hofmeyr had just given in a speech in South Africa. (R., p. 356 



216 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier Do you think there is any 
probability of that ? 

" Dr. Jameson I do not know at all, but suppos- 
ing it was with France, Germany, Italy, or anywhere 
. . . and supposing the Imperial Government gave 
a preference to Canada, then Canada would probably 
carry out further preference to Great Britain, but 
that further preference would surely be bound by this 
intermediate tariff, because this intermediate tariff, I 
suppose, would be made on the present preference to 
Great Britain. So really the further preference would 
be minimised. The point is, when once you begin to 
make commercial treaties outside there is no saying 
how far they go. When you once get commercial 
treaties and commercial sympathy, we generally find 
political sympathy follows. That is the last and 
strongest argument. We hope the Imperial Govern- 
ment will see their way to help us in an experiment, 
at all events, of the smallest reciprocal preference to 
various portions of the Empire." (R., p. 288.) 

Preference He suggested, accordingly, that the British Govern- 
"xisting ment should concede to Cape tobacco a remission of 
tariff/ one shilling off the tobacco duty (at 3s. a lb.), just 
as they had lately promised to take a shilling off the 
corresponding excise duty on a certain quality of Irish 
tobacco for the sake of an " experiment." Mr. Moor 
(Natal) endorsed his Cape colleague's views, but urged 
the importance of supporting Preference with sub- 
sidiary measures, such as the regulation of shipping 
freights, and the encouragement of emigration to the 
Dominions, which he hoped the new Secretariat would 
attend to. He somewhat expanded Dr. Jameson's 
list of South African products available for experi- 
mental preference in Britain : 

" You have already a tariff on wine, sugar, tobacco, 
and tea. You are taxing your people. I will take 
tobacco as one line, and we ask you to give relief to 



1'Ki.i I:KI;\< i: TIII; n.\v;i-:n DOOR 217 

your people to the extent of giving us a preference on 
that tarilV, say, on tobacco. You would be helping us 
to build up a now industry in South Africa which is 
a very promising one, and from which I believe you 
can get supplies as good as any in the world. At the 
same time you would be doing your people a benefit 
by reducing your taxation in their favour ; l which I 
believe is in the direction of your Free Trade policy. 

" However, it will be interesting to know what 
objections you can have to making an experiment in 
that direction as regards your own Colonies, and in the 
interests of your own consumers by reducing taxation. 
(R., p. 291.) 

General Botha, who doubtless was conscious that Botha 
the Liberal Government regarded him as under an 
obligation to them for having restored the Transvaal 
to Boer control, assumed a cautious attitude. The 
people of the Transvaal had not, he observed, been 
consulted about preferential trade since receiving 
responsible government, so that he had no sure 
mandate from them. He would support the 1902 
resolution, but nothing in advance of it. It was now 
a matter for Britain to settle, and his own impression 
was that the recent general election had decided it. 
Though no reciprocal preference were given, "the 
bond between the Transvaal and the Mother Country 
will not thereby be weakened." 

Sir Robert Bond aligned Newfoundland with 
Canada on the Resolution of 1902. Though in his 
Colony effect had not yet been given to it, he was 
able to announce that the matter was under con- 
sideration. His Government desired " to co-operate 
in every possible way towards the establishment of 

1 This has always been the domestic argument of the Laurier GoTernment 
in Canada, that Preference means reduced taxation, because prices are 
governed by the lower scale, in cases where the conditions are such that 
the duty fulls on the consumer. 



218 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

preferential trade between the Colonies themselves 
and between the Colonies and the United Kingdom." 
British The twelfth sitting opened with Mr. Churchill's 

on Prefer- lecture, followed by Sir Wilfrid Laurier's full state- 
ment ; after which Mr. Deakin replied to the British 
Ministers, and a desultory discussion closed the 
subject. Nothing will be sacrificed to convenience in 
treating the four speeches of the British Government 
together. They had no precise relation to the 
views expressed by the Premiers, being inspired by 
party instead of Imperial interest. In general they 
may be described as elaborate statements in support 
of foregone conclusions. Except for a few and some- 
what irrelevant points made by Mr. Lloyd George, 
the Colonial arguments from experience were met 
simply with a reiteration of a priori judgments, 
churchiirs Speeches were made on behalf of the British 
Government by Sir James Mackay (India Office), 
Mr. Asquith (Chancellor of the Exchequer) ; Mr 
Lloyd George (President of the Board of Trade) ; 
and Mr. Winston Churchill (Under-Secretary for the 
Colonies). The title of the last-named to attend 
or address the Conference is obscure. Not being a 
Minister, he was not there as a member of the Con- 
ference. He might have been asked to attend and 
speak on some special subject by his chief, Lord Elgin, 
just as Sir James Mackay was deputed by Mr. Morley. 
But it seems l that he himself requested permission to 
speak, instead of waiting to be asked. Lord Elgin 
assented, explaining to the Conference that Mr. 
Churchill wished to deal with a "particular side" 
of the subject, of which the Under-Secretary was 
" specially in charge." The particular side turned out 
to be the most general, being in fact the political 
aspects of Preference in relation to parliamentary 

1 R., p. 400. 



PREFERENCE THE ItAVJKD DOoil 

government. It would have been more appropriate 
for treatment by one of the Cabinet Ministers, had 
any of them been willing to undertake it. 

Sir James Mackay was the first speaker at the 
third sitting on Preferential Trade, following the 
Transvaal and Newfoundland Premiers, whose remarks 
have already been noticed. Then came Mr. Asquith, 
Sir William Lyne (Australia), and Dr. Smartt (C.C.). 
Mr. Lloyd George attended the eleventh sitting and 
led off. His speech was more conversational than the 
others and lapsed into good-humoured dialogue. 

Sir James Mackay began by citing trade statistics Mackay on 
to show that India was doing well enough under and India? 
the existing system. Then he dwelt on the risk of 
1 1; i mage to India through foreign retaliation should 
she join in a scheme of Imperial Reciprocity or even 
should she hold aloof, since foreign countries might 
not recognise her neutrality. He would not admit 
that this was a negligible risk. It had been implied 
by Mr. Deakin that fiscal pressure had been success- 
fully exerted by the Government of India to make 
France reduce the duty on Indian coffee after she 
had raised it in the course of a fiscal dispute with 
Brazil. But though France had in fact lowered the 
duty in return for reciprocal concessions in the Indian 
general tariff, this coincidence was, he argued, only 
a " face-saving " arrangement, France having been 
actuated purely by goodwill. Another case men- 
tioned by Mr. Deakin had been the action of Russia 
in penalising Indian tea by way of retaliation for 
the exclusion of Russian bounty -fed sugar under the 
Brussels Convention. Sir James Mackay was glad 
to state that despite the penal duty the exports of 
Indian tea to Russia had continued to grow. (Later 
on this statement was recalled by Dr. Smartt as 
evidence that the risks of retaliation were being 



220 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

exaggerated, Indian exports to foreign countries being 
mainly goods which they had to buy anyway.) 
India was not, he argued, much interested in getting 
preference on tea, because out of the 321,000,000 Ibs. 
consumed in the United Kingdom only 13,000,000 
came from foreign countries. But and this was a 
strangely unconvincing " Indian " view in regard to 
both the tea duty and tobacco duty India would 
welcome a reduction if it could be done without giving 
her a preference. 

India At this point he seemed to abandon altogether the 

to C Lanca- farcical pretence that he was the spokesman of India 

shire under r&i ^ Qr fa&u o f a Liberal Government in England. As 

Trade. a l w ays, since the beginning of the fiscal controversy, 

the Liberal party took its stand on the right to exploit 

India in the interests of the Lancashire cotton trade : 

" There is another matter connected with the 
subject, namely, the question as to what bearing the 
adoption by the United Kingdom of a scheme of 
preferential tariffs would have on the excise duty 
which is now imposed on cotton piece goods manu- 
factured in India, and on the exemption of cotton 
twist and yarn from the customs duty levied on other 
classes of cotton manufactures. These exceptional 
measures were adopted when, under financial stress, 
as his lordship (Lord Elgin) knows, the import duties 
were reimposed, in order to prevent them from pro- 
tecting the Indian cotton industry in the smallest 
degree; and they were defended on the ground that 
the policy of the British Parliament and the Govern- 
ment of India was one of strict Free Trade. If that 
policy were modified the matter would assume an 
entirely new phase. 

" It has been suggested that India might join a 
preferential tariff scheme, with liberty to impose 
duties of a protective character against imports from 
the British Empire, if accompanied by still heavier 
duties against foreign imports something the same 



pm-:i-T.m-:\<T. TIIK IJANCKD noon 

as you propose to have in Australia. There is no 
doubt that, if a preferential policy were adopted 
which admitted of the establishment of protective 
tariffs by Great Britain, proposals in this direction 
would be put forward and pressed by Indian manu- 
facturers. They would claim the same right to pro- 
tect their manufactures as the Colonies enjoy, and it 
would be difficult to offer a logical opposition to such 
a demand." (R., p. 301.) 

It may be suggested in passing that, perhaps, not why not 
the least valuable of the results already accruing from dom for 6 
the controversy raised by Mr. Chamberlain's proposals In 
is that it has forced and is forcing an increasing 
number of Englishmen to recognise the intolerable 
hypocrisy true child of Cobdenism of pretending 
that India is governed fiscally in the interests of her 
own people. On what principle, acceptable to Indian 
feeling or necessary to British rule, can the Govern- 
ment of India be denied the same liberty in regard 
to tariff policy as is enjoyed by the Governments 
of the Dominions, and which has been used by them 
to the marked advantage of both their own people 
and the Empire generally ? 

Sir James Mackay wound up his address by repeat- 
ing the old party shibboleths, that the present course 
of trade (created by the British conquest of India) was 
" natural," and that any policy disturbing it would 
cripple the whole Empire commercially. Only he 
suggested that India, while unable to give preference 
to the Dominions, should be admitted by them to 
their preferential benefits. Of course the Dominions 
did not see it ; but the fact tbat the request was put 
forward may have indicated an uneasy consciousness 
of the British Ministers that they were misrepresent- 
ing Indian opinion and betraying Indian interests. 

Only in one other matter did the spokesman of the 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Lascar India Office revert to an Indian point of view. He 
protested against the principle in the Australian Bill l 
restricting preference to ships manned with white 
labour, as being " extremely obnoxious " to Indian 
feeling : 

" Mr. Deakin Is it obnoxious to Indian feeling 
that they are not engaged on ships in His Majesty's 
Navy? 

" Sir James Machay No, I do not think so. 

" Mr. Deakin Is not the Mercantile Marine a 
support of the Navy ? It is with no intention of dis- 
criminating in the least against Hindoos or any other 
people of the Empire, but solely with a view to the 
development of the Mercantile Marine in connection 
with the general sea supremacy of the Empire that 
our proposition is made. 

" Sir James Mackay That is rather a matter for 
the First Lord of the Admiralty. He finds that he 
has no difficulty in recruiting for the Navy." (R., 
p. 302.) 

The matter was alluded to more than once after- 
wards by Mr. Asquith in the course of his address : 

" We should never under any conceivable circum- 
stances accept here a preference granted to us only in 
respect of goods carried in ships in which the whole 
of our fellow-subjects in India were not allowed to 
serve. We could not possibly accede to that, and 
everybody here would say we would rather have no 
preference at all than preference limited by such a 
condition as that." (R., p. 315.) 

Asqnith'a The question might be of more practical interest 
o?thought if Mr. Deakin had not already declared that the 
principle of restriction to white crews was inadmis- 
sible because unworkable. But it is difficult to follow 
Mr. ^Asquith's idea. How would Britain refuse "to 

1 Supra, p. 206. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DO<W 

accept " a preference under those conditions ? Would 
the British Government try to forbid merchants to 
pass their goods into Australia at the preferential 
tariff rate? Or would the Imperial authority be 
exercised to veto the Australian Tariff Bill embody- 
ing the proposal? That would be a decidedly pro- 
vocative and risky violation of the principle of 
autonomy on which Mr. Asquith had been laying 
great stress just before, especially as discrimination in 
favour of white labour had already been sanctioned 
in sundry Australasian laws. Doubtless he had never 
tried to think the matter out, but was merely jump- 
ing at dialectical opportunities as they seemed to 
present themselves. 

Argument conducted on such lines is often in- 
consistent ; flagrant inconsistency being a mark of 
insincerity. Convinced reasoning is seldom incon- 
sistent, and would be abnormal if it were ; whereas 
the reasoning of party debate generally abounds 
in self-contradictions simply because it is an un- 
natural exercise. Mr. Asquith's speech was charac- 
terised throughout by this vice, which prevents it 
from being regarded as a serious contribution to 
the discussion of Preferential Trade. One moment 
he was arguing that the intention and effect of the 
Colonial tariffs was to "exclude the British manu- 
facturers to a very large extent from your markets"; J 
while a few minutes later he declared, with reference 
to the much higher tariffs of protected foreign coun- 
tries : " I do not think, therefore, that the proposition 
that we are being excluded by tariffs from foreign 
countries is a proposition which bears close examina- 
tion." 5 What was that but the self-contradictory 
pleading of an anti-Colonial prejudice, born of party arising 

from party 

interest f prejudice.' 

1 R, p. 307. R., pp. 310-11. 



maximum. 



224 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

It impelled him to belittle the value of the existing 
preferences in the Dominions. He would not even 
concede the term " preference" to an increase of duties 
against the foreigner 1 as though it made any dif- 
ference in practical result whether a preferential rate 
of, say, 1 5 per cent, ad valorem was obtained by taking 
5 off 20 per cent, on British goods in Canada, or add- 
ing 5 on to 10 per cent, on foreign goods in Australia. 
He felt constrained to admit that the Canadian 
preference had been "beneficial" to British trade, 
though only to the extent of " arresting a threatened 
decline." In point of fact, the decline was not 
" threatened " but actual ; 2 nor is it easy for the 
ordinary man to perceive why the revival of a de- 
clining trade should be counted a less useful service 
Existing than the expansion of a non-declining trade. It was 
necessary for the purpose of a party argument to 
ignore the offers of increased preference in return for 
reciprocity, and to insist on assuming that the existing 
preferences represented the maximum obtainable in 
each case. But here Sir Wilfrid Laurier helped him. 
In reply to Mr. Asquith's sudden request for confirma- 
tion of the view that the existing preference in Canada 
was the " maximum which was regarded by Canadian 
statesmen as being consistent with the general 
economic interests of Canada," 3 the Canadian Premier 
replied "Quite right." Possibly he was not following 
the discourse too attentively, and supposed that the 
" maximum " under unilateral preference was meant. 4 
Or, the answer may have been deliberate. But 
nothing would induce Mr. Asquith, despite the pro- 
test of Mr. Deakin and his colleague, 5 to consider the 
possibility of any Australian preference beyond the 

1 R., pp. 312, 314. 2 Cf. supra, p. 203. 

3 R., p. 313. 

4 This would follow from his statement to the Canadian Parliament. 
8 R., pp. 314-15. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

trifling and unworkable instalment which had been 
proposed in connection with the New Zealand Treaty. 
The Cape request for an .experiment in reciprocal 
preference by reduction of the existing British duties under 
onlv, was naturally a very awkward one for Ministers 



to refuse. They could not fall back on what has 
lately become their platform argument, that Prefer- 
ence is a good thing when it means taking some- 
thing off an import duty, and a bad thing only when 
it involves putting new duties on. 1 Mr. Asquith could 
only invoke the sanctity of abstract principle. The 
destined Prime Minister of a Government which was 
to impose crushing duties on liquor and an unprofitably 
expensive system of land duties for avowedly ulterior 
purposes to those of revenue, informed the Conference 
that "a Free Trade basis means a system in which 
duties are imposed for revenue and not for other 
purposes." The Cape proposal would divert duties to 
" ulterior purposes the purposes of preference." It 
would be " a flagrant and undeniable departure from 
the very basis of our principle of Free Trade. . . . The 
abandonment of Free Trade." That is the bargain. 2 
As Dr Jameson commented, to the annoyance of the 
lawyer who had no answer ready, " Is not that coming 
back rather to the fetish of Free Trade ? " 

But Mr. Asquith had not yet achieved his main Asqmth-s 
purpose in coming to the Conference, which was to the tax on 
extract something capable of being perverted after- w ' 
wards into an admission of his favourite scare-cry, that 
Preference meant a tax on raw materials, including 
wool. Ignoring the statements already made on that 
point by the Australian and South African Premiers, 

1 This view has been adopted by the Free Traders of late years only, 
especially since the Report of the West Indian Commission. Previously their 
argument was that Preference implied " sordid bonds," and was economically 
a positive evil in all cases. 

1 R., pp. 316-17. 

VOL. II P 



226 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

especially Dr. Jameson, 1 he asked again : " Is or is it 
not part of the proposition that we should give a 
preference on raw materials ? " Here he had un- 
wittingly delivered himself to Mr. Deakin, who at 
once interposed : 

" May I point out that I expressly put aside that 
question upon the general principle, in which I thought 
you concurred, that what you would give, the kind and 
form and extent of your preference . . . Avas entirely a 
matter for yourselves, and it was not for us to attempt 
to suggest its character ? 

" Mr. Asquith I quite appreciate that, and per- 
haps I ought not to put it in the form of a question to 
you, and I will not. But I will put it in the form of 
a question to myself, and I will suppose I am trying to 
construct a tariff." (R., p. 519.) 

For this purpose, however, he had again to violate his 
own respect for autonomy by ignoring the existence 
of the Colonial Governments, with whom in practice 
the British Minister would negotiate, and imagin- 
ing that he would be brought face to face with a 
host of competing interests in the Dominions. When 
the Cape exported so much wool, and so little wine 
and tobacco, how could he be " fair " as between the 
Cape and Canada unless he put a preferential duty on 
wool ? 

" Dr. Smartt Try us with a one-shilling reduc- 
tion on tobacco. 

" Dr. Jameson Surely that is a difficulty for the 
Colonies themselves to get over. . . . Surely the Cape 
is not going to be the dog in the manger and say 
Canada is not to get it. Of course Canada will get 
infinitely more advantage than we, but we hope to 
grow in course of time." (R., p. 320.) 

But it was all a farce. Mr. Asquith being as 

1 Supra, p. 213. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

complete a stranger to the life and thought of the 
Dominions as to practical experience of duties on 
competitive imports, was not less prepared to lay 
down the law on Colonial feeling than on the inci- 
dence of differential duties. He was satisfied that 
what the " Colonies"- petulant children demanded 
was " even-handed preference" ; that even-handed pre- 
ference was impossible without taxing raw materials ; 
therefore preference meant a tax on raw materials, 
especially wool ; Q.E.D. The lawyer claimed that he 
had won his case. Such was the style and upshot of 
the least worthy performance to be found as yet in the 
twenty years' record of the Imperial Conference. 

Mr. Asquith's stubborn and discourteous refusal 
to surrender the raw-material scare-cry is intelligible 
enough. That had been his own particular contribu- 
tion to the platform armoury of the Liberal Party. 
The complete bogey of "fair" Preference, in all its 
logical perfection, had been presented by him to an 
admiring Party in the early days of the Chamberlain 
campaign, 1 and had been annually refurbished by the 
proud artificer. Possibly he entertained an exag- 
gerated idea of its terrorising powers, which were puny 
compared with those of the premier bogey resuscitated 
from the " Hungry Forties." Still, a man is some- 
times proud of his own handiwork and does not like 
to see it spoiled. Had the question of raw material 
in connection with Preference not inspired an idea 
for a platform bogey, it probably would never have 
assumed any prominence. But, since it has been and 
remains so much to the fore, the present opportunity 
may be taken to indicate what would appear to be 
the natural course of affairs were a Tariff Reform 
Government returned to power in Britain. 

1 e.g. in his speeches at Cinderford, Oct. 8, 1903 ; Wednesbury, Jan. 23, 
1904. 



228 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Reason for It should hardly be necessary nowadays to state 
raw ep ' the Protectionist's case for exempting from import duty 
ua ' those raw materials of which the country cannot pro- 
duce a sufficiency within its own borders. As' both 
Mr. Asquith and Mr. Lloyd George inadvertently but 
explicitly recognised l " inadvertently," because it 
contradicted the hackneyed arguments of their party 
platform it is the normal practice of protectionist 
Governments to keep raw materials on the free list. 
Unlike food, the potential consumption of raw materials 
of industry in any country is not limited by the size of 
the population. It can be expanded indefinitely so long 
as the captains of industry think they can find a market 
for the additional output. Having free entry to Ger- 
many and other industrial countries, exporters of raw 
material might be able to divert their product to 
those markets in the event of toll being imposed on 
it at British ports, thus escaping the necessity of 
having to pay that toll themselves in order to retain 
their footing against favoured competition from within 
the Empire. On the other hand, exporters of food 
have at present no such alternative duty-free market, 
since Germany and other importing countries maintain 
a higher tariff, in the agricultural interest, than is 
contemplated or would be politically possible in in- 
dustrial Britain. In any case the consuming power 
of the alternative markets for food, were such to be 
found, would be limited in proportion to population ; 
and so the necessity for selling a surplus in Britain 
would remain. In these circumstances, while duties on 
food may be welcomed as a means of deriving a large 
" non-tax " revenue, it would appear to be "madness" 
as the Australian Minister of Trade and Customs 
declared 2 for Britain to levy duties on raw material ; 
unless, indeed, in consideration of a commercial or 

1 R., pp. 313, 362. 2 Supra, p. 185. 



PKKFEUENCE THE BANGED DOOR !>!>9 

political </ii.id pro quo of greater magnitude than 
appears at present to be immediately possible. 

Assume, first, the contingency of the new Govern- The right 
ment being composed of Tariff- Reform " extremists," K e y rence 
as avowed Protectionists are dubbed by their oppon- first stage.' 
ents. The most " extreme " procedure within the limits 
of apparent possibility would be for the Government 
to begin by instituting a tariff on the lines already 
proposed by Mr. Chamberlain's Tariff Commission 
in its series of reports. Crude raw materials, such 
as wool, cotton, and timber in the rough, would be 
on the free list. Other and dutiable products would 
not be exempt when imported from within the 
Empire, but would be charged at a lower rate than 
foreign products ; the purpose being to give a first 
preference to producers within the United Kingdom, 
and to safeguard the tariff revenue against extinc- 
tion through the gradual displacement of foreign by 
Colonial supplies. This would be in accordance with 
Mr. Deakin's exposition of general principles. It 
would accord with the practice of all the Dominions ; 
since they, generally speaking, give preference to 
British imports by reduction of duties rather than 
by exemption. Also it would fulfil . the Resolution 
of 1902 which, seeking to establish a system of 
general application within the Empire, proposed 
that preference should be given in Britain by either 
(a) "exemption from" or (6) "reduction of" duties 
" now levied or hereafter imposed." In order to 
establish this national and preferential tariff it would 
no more be necessary or even expedient for the British 
Government to consult the Dominions than it was for 
them to consult Britain when they severally were 
instituting the existing preferences, which in each 
case was done without any such consultation. Thus, 
by the unfettered exercise of Britain's autonomy, 



230 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Imperial Reciprocity would have been actually estab- 
lished and the basis of United Empire secured in 
perpetuity, without any bargaining at all. The first 
stage in Reciprocity would have been accomplished 
without any duty in Britain on raw materials. 
The right The next stage would be that of " preference for 
second' preference," "concession for concession," as Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier has frequently described it. Equipped at last 
with a national and preferential tariff, the British 
Government would make known its willingness to 
negotiate with the Dominions singly or collectively 
(it would not matter which, assuming the adoption of 
the inter-Imperial most-favoured-nation principle) for 
a mutual increase of preferences. In accordance with 
the traditional practice of commercial bargaining both 
sides would, presumably, ask for a good deal more 
than they expected to get. British Ministers might 
intimate that in return for the complete abolition of 
the Dominion duties on British imports they would be 
prepared not only to place all Dominion products on 
the free list thus establishing complete Free Trade 
within the Empire but even to increase further the 
margin of preference by raising the duties on com- 
peting foreign products above the limits proposed 
by the Tariff Commission and already ex hypolhesi 
embodied in the British tariff. On the other side 
Australian Ministers, for example, might intimate 
that if the reciprocal preference in Britain were to 
include raw wool they would be prepared to go much 
further in the direction of Free Trade within the 
Empire than if wool were excluded from the scope of 
the arrangement. In the end, to judge by the familiar 
examples of commercial negotiation, a compromise 
would be struck. Australia, and the other Dominions, 
would probably secure total exemption from the British 
duties ; but no preference on raw materials, which 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOH 

would remain on the general free list. Britain for 
her part would secure a large increase of preference in 
the Dominions, on the lines indicated by Mr. Deakin, 
but not to the extent of complete Free Trade. Free 
Trade within the Empire would have to wait until the 
national phase of patriotism had risen into the Imperial 
phase, and the precise location of industries within the 
Empire had ceased to be a matter of paramount im- 
portance to the several peoples, who would then be 
concerned only for the aggregate result in employment 
and wealth. Meanwhile, in the penultimate stage, 
Imperial Reciprocity would have been carried by 
bargaining to a degree which had been unattainable 
under the initial system of independent preferences 
and still without any duty on raw materials. 

Unfortunately matters might not take so orderly, The wrong 
logical, and frictionless a course. The British Govern- ence e poiicy 
ment which makes the first move towards Imperial 111 
Reciprocity seems hardly likely to be composed of 
" extremists " and men who understand the Dominions. 
More probably, as events are now shaping, the Govern- 
ment would consist at best of half-and-half Tariff 
Reformers, and would be susceptible both to free- 
trade wirepulling and to antiquated reminiscence of the 
old Colonial relationship. Such a Government would 
instinctively try to shield itself behind the Dominions 
in introducing its tariff-reform proposals. Certain 
Ministers, and a host of party advocates, would repre- 
sent the change as being required primarily in order 
to please "our Colonies" rather than for any strictly 
national object. The Government would refrain from 
producing or instituting any new tariff until the 
Imperial Conference had been consulted, if not 
specially summoned for the purpose (as Mr. Balfour 
proposed in criticising the fiasco of 1907). Imperial 
negotiations having thus taken place, the Ministerial 



232 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Party would sooner or later ask the country to 
endorse the new duties for which " our Colonies " had 
stipulated. Their free-trade supporters, claiming to 
represent the cream of the national intellect, would 
urge the acceptance of this " sacrifice" in the Imperial 
cause. The other Party would either denounce the 
enrichment of prosperous Colonial farmers, or would 
attack the exemption from duty of Colonial products 
as a gratuitous sacrifice of revenue ; or, more probably 
still, would raise both cries together. (Mr. Balfour, 
it may be noted, has pledged himself in advance to 
the principle of free Colonial produce, so that his 
opponents would not allow this concession to pass as 
part of any " bargain " for increased preference in 
the Dominion markets.) In any case the Imperial 
fat would certainly be in the fire. Meetings of 
Liberal compatriots throughout the Dominions would 
cable resolutions to the effect that they did not 
want preference on such terms, to the bewildered 
exasperation of Unionists in Britain who honestly 
thought they had been fighting the Empire's battle. 
Nevertheless, when the conflagration had finally sub- 
sided, the Empire would be found to have emerged 
in either stronger than it was before the trouble began. But 
duty on the iicce ssity for any duty on raw material does not 
material, seem to arise on the hypothesis of party muddle any 
more than on the more hazardous assumption of a 
statesmanlike procedure. On the contrary, the sheer 
timidity of the party muddlers would surely render 
them even less likely than the statesmen either to 
receive such a proposal from the Dominions or to 
entertain it if they did. Despite the avoidable friction 
of muddle, the finally resulting system of reciprocity 
might very much resemble the other in substance, at 
least so far as any reason to the contrary can now be 
foreseen. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

Mr. Asquith's " final word " was that, though A*quJth' 
Imperial Reciprocity was absolutely inadmissible, way..- 
there were other ways in which it was "not only 
the interest but the duty of the Imperial Parliament 
to promote the commercial interests of the rest of the 
Kmpire." Not, it will be observed, the commercial 
interests of the Empire as a whole. His spontaneous 
phrase, " the rest of the Empire," again illustrates his 
attitude of mind, regarding the Colonies collectively 
as a parasitical appendage, accidentally and incon- 
veniently attached to the British Parliament, which 
was under the disability of having to do something to 
keep them quiet. He referred approvingly to the 
suggestions made by the several Premiers about com- 
mercial intelligence, maritime communications, Suez 
Canal charges, and emigration. " If " in the event, 
a vital proviso any of these schemes could be " re- 
duced to a practical form and shown to be of a work- 
able character," there would, he promised, be no lack 
of co-operation, nor, speaking as Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, " of the necessary material assistance." 
For the moment the British Government seemed 
really to have succumbed to the feeling that for 
their credit's sake they must make some show of 
practical concession to a policy which was not their 
own, but was the alternative and rival to their plan of 
peace and prosperity through general disarmament 
and universal Free Trade. In such circumstances the 
truth of the proverb, " where there's a will there's a 
way," is apt to be illustrated by negative example. 
At any rate the co-operative mood of the British 
Government was destined to flicker out very soon. 

Mr. Lloyd George dealt with the subject in a more Lioyd 
friendly spirit, 1 being temperamentally nearer than speech- 
his Whig colleague to the life and feeling of the houo." 

1 This was cordially recognised by Mr. Deakin. (R., p. 423.) 



234 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Dominions. But for his unfortunate servitude to a 
committed party he might have taken a leading part 
in the furtherance of the Imperial cause. As matters 
stood he was bound, equally with Mr. Asquith, by the 
exigencies of the party platform. He was loyally 
careful throughout to take it for granted, irrespective 
of what the Dominion representatives had said or 
might say, that Imperial Reciprocity implied duties 
on raw materials. 1 Like Mr. Asquith, he was obviously 
embarrassed by the Cape suggestion that preference 
should be given simply by a reduction of existing 
British duties. But when brought up against that 
proposal, instead of invoking the Fetish he adroitly 
turned off to another part of the subject. 2 
Free Trade Observing that the discretion of the Dominion 
Empire. Governments also was limited by the " mandate " 
of their respective constituents Mr. Deakin, for 
example, was restricted to so much of Imperial 
Preference as would be compatible with National 
Protection he ingeniously took credit to the British 
Government for not trying to manoeuvre the Colonial 
Premiers into a betrayal of their trust, e.g. by 
urging them to accept a policy of Free Trade within 
the Empire, like the German Zollverein, which would 
commit them to admitting British imports " on the 
same terms exactly as Colonial goods are permitted 
to enter our market, without toll or tariff." This was 
an inaccurate account of the existing fiscal system in 
Britain, and the less excusable considering that the 
Cape and Natal representatives had based their plea 
on the fact that liquors, tobacco, sugar, and tea were 
dutiable already in the British tariff. Nor is it clear 
from the above quotation that Mr. Lloyd George's 
idea of a Zollverein included both essentials of that 
system, under which internal Free Trade is neces- 

i R, p. 396. 2 R., p. 359. 



I'UKIT.RENCE TIIK HANGED DOOR 

sarily accompanied with external Protection. Mr. 
Deakin, for his part, was not prepared to exclude 
discussion of the Zollverein proposal: " If you are will- 
ing to give up your Customs revenue we might have 
something to propose." J Later on he said that such 
a proposal, if seriously put forward, " would be worth 
the very best consideration of all the Dominions." 2 
But, in passing, it may be observed that there was 
and is an important difference between the two 
proposals, that the Dominions should abandon Pro- 
tection and that Britain should abandon Free Trade. 
By general assent, the fullest liberty of national self- 
development is at present fundamental to the well- 
being of the Empire. But in new countries, if not 
in old ones, national self-development is impossible on 
the economic side always the most vital because it 
is primary without fiscal Protection. A protective 
tariff is at once the expression of the national idea 
and the instrument of a national policy. The Zoll- 
verein proposal challenges, therefore, the political 
basis of the Empire, whereas the Reciprocity proposal 
is innocent of that extravagance. Under pressure of 
protests against fetish-worship the British Govern- 
ment had by this time abandoned the ground which 
the Liberals had taken at the outset of the fiscal 
controversy. Despite occasional reversions to it e.g. 
Mr. Asquith's in the speech described above they 
were now in the habit of declaring that in their view 
Free Trade was not an inviolable principle, but only 
a fiscal expedient of proved utility. That, in fact, was 
Mr. Asquith's own defence, 3 characteristically self- 
contradictory, of his own refusal to countenance an 
experiment which he said would violate the "prin- 
ciple" of Free Trade. The difference between the 
Zollverein proposal and the Reciprocity proposal is, 

1 R., p. 361. * R., p. 423. R., p. 317. 



236 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

therefore, the difference between abandonment of 
a fundamental conception (that of Partnership as 
distinguished from Federation) and modification of a 
mere expedient. 

Mr. Lloyd George went a long way towards 
recognising the political value of economic inter- 



tionist n i 

views. dependence : 



" We heartily concur in the view which has been 
presented by the Colonial Ministers that the Empire 
would be a great gainer if much of the products now 
purchased from foreign countries could be produced 
and purchased within the Empire. In Britain, we 
have the greatest market in the world. We are the 
greatest purchasers of produce raised or manufactured 
outside our own boundaries. A very large proportion 
of this produce could very well be raised in the 
Colonies, and any reasonable and workable plan that 
would tend to increase the proportion of the produce 
which is bought by us from the Colonies, and by the 
Colonies from us and from each other, must neces- 
sarily enhance the resources of the Empire as a whole. 
A considerable part of the surplus population of the 
United Kingdom, which now goes to foreign lands in 
search of a livelihood, might then find it to its profit 
to pitch its tents somewhere under the Flag, and the 
Empire would gain in riches of material and of men. 
We agree with our Colonial comrades that all this is 
worth concerted effort, even if that effort at the outset 
costs us something. The federation of free Common- 
wealths is worth making some sacrifice for. One 
never knows when its strength may be essential to 
the great cause of human freedom, and that is price- 
less." (R., p. 362.) 

His irre- He too, therefore, expressed a desire to find other 

a e rgument. ways of commercial co-operation. But, passing by that 

problem, he expatiated on the prosperity of Britain 

under the existing fiscal system as proved by statistics, 

not of social welfare but of commerce. All this was 



PREFERENCE THE BANGKI) 1)()()H 237 

liaekneyed stuff, and beside the point. What he 
should have attempted to show was that Imperial 
Reciprocity would be disastrous to Britain com- 
mercially ; which was not proved by any facts of 
present prosperity. To justify the objection based 
on "dearer food" he would have had to prove that 
the Premiers were completely mistaken in the infer- 
ences they had drawn from actual experience in their 
own countries that differential duties, on the scale 
and under the conditions proposed, are not necessarily 
a tax on consumers. A successful demonstration on 
those lines would have been relevant to the proposals 
which the Premiers had put forward, and would have 
proved that the cause of Imperial union must be 
abandoned as hopeless because a policy of economic 
inter -dependence was precluded by Britain's primary 
needs. But Mr. Lloyd George missed that relevant 
line of argument. Whenever he approached it, he 
did so with some admission against the official 
case which he had to support. He came perilously 
near betraying the ark of the party covenant when, 
referring to an interjection that the shilling corn 
duty of 1902 had not been visible in the price, he 
remarked : 

" I should not be a bit surprised if it were the 
fact ; at any rate I have not gone into the matter." 
(R, p. 376.) 

Nowhere did he make any attempt to argue that 
any reasonably probable effect of the required food 
duties on the cost of living would more than offset 
the benefit of an assured and substantial advan- 
tage over foreign competitors in the most expansible 
markets of the present century. His assumption 
was that because the corn duty had been raised in 
Germany, where the agrarian interest dominates the 



238 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

constituencies, it would eventually be raised to the 
same extent in Britain, where the urban vote pre- 
dominates. Yet this was the same politician who a 
few years later was ridiculing those who ventured to 
oppose his land tax " only a copper " with the 
" thin end of the wedge " argument, which the 
Government rightly objected could be adduced against 
any attempts at progress in any line whatsoever. Less 

Admits dogmatic than Mr. Asquith, he admitted that Mr. 

STcon- Chamberlain had been right about British trade with 
protected countries : 

" When Mr. Chamberlain first raised the point in 
the year 1903, the trade to protected countries had 
gone down very seriously. It is no use shutting our 
eyes to the fact that it was due, of course, to the 
imposition of tariffs against our goods." (R., p. 371.) 

Advantage But he went on to point out that exports of British 
manufactures to these protected countries had in the 
last four years increased by 26 per cent., while to the 
Colonies they had increased by only 14 per cent. One 
would have thought that this argument, so far from 
minimising the importance of the system of prefer- 
ence, showed the urgent need for an increased measure 
of it ; especially as a little later on Mr. Lloyd George 
admitted its effectiveness : 

" Let me here express for the Board of Trade, 
whose duty it is to watch carefully all that affects 
our trade in all parts of the world, our appreciation 
of the enormous advantage conferred on the British 
manufacturer by the preference given to him in the 
Colonial markets by recent tariff adjustments. The 
Canadian preferential tariff has produced a marked 
effect on our export trade to Canada. It is true that 
it seems to have benefited Canada to an even larger 
extent than it has profited us, for I observe from our 
Trade Returns that our purchases from the Canadian 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

producer have increased, and are still increasing, by 
leaps and bounds, and I attribute the improvement in 
trade between Canada and this country very largely 
to the wise policy of reducing the duties on goods 
imported from the Mother Country which Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier initiated in 1897." (R., p. 387.) 

In the other Dominions the preferences had not 
been in operation long enough for their effects to 
have become apparent ; but Mr. Lloyd George ex- 
pressed his conviction " that in some measure the 
happy results which have ensued from Canadian 
preference will be repeated in these cases." And 
yet Reciprocity, implying both a guarantee and an 
extension of these benefits, was to be ruled out of 
court simply lest certain " food duties " should have 
an effect which Mr. Lloyd George could not say had 
followed the sufficiently similar duty of 1902. The 
Minister was sailing the party ship pretty close to 
the rocks ; and he now hastened back to clearer 
water. The mother country, he explained, regarded 
these Colonial preferences as a token that the Colonies 
wished to "express their gratitude." While this The 
implied that no reciprocity was insisted upon : theory of 

Prefer- 

" There is something in Dr. Jameson's resolution ence> 
which looks perilously like it, but I am sure that the 
Colonies would not wish to present their case in that 
form, as they know it would detract from the real 
value of their action and certainly from its spon- 
taneity." (R., p. 387.) 

South Africa, under General Botha's guidance, was 
destined in a few years' time to furnish a very 
practical commentary upon the " gratitude " theory 
of unilateral preference, by proposing to abolish the 
concession and devote the additional revenue gained 
by taxing British imports to the strictly national 
purpose of defence. And it may here be remarked 



240 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

that Newfoundland, the only one of the Dominions 
which has not yet accorded any preference to Britain, 
happens to be the one which apparently would have 
the least to gain by reciprocity in the British market; 
a coincidence which seems to support the view that 
the motive of unilateral preference has been the idea 
that it would accelerate Imperial Reciprocity. 
Tariff Another line of argument which Mr. Lloyd George 

.-dead 1 " adopted readily as a party politician was that any 
907 ' way the question of Reciprocity had been finally 
settled by the last (1906) general election. Subse- 
quent events have furnished a sufficient commentary 
on that. 1 He was on firmer ground when he drew 
the attention of the Dominion statesmen to the 
shifty attitude of the Leader of the Opposition ; 
and he warned them, with all the authority of one 
not unable to influence the course of affairs : 

" You may have some other great issue precipi- 
tated into the arena, which will divide parties and 
recast them . . . you must not assume too readily 
that the question of preferential tariffs is going to 
be, I will not say a dominating factor, but even a 
factor at all in the next appeal by the other party 
to the electors of this country." (R., p. 389.) 

That, no doubt, was how the defensive strategy of 
Free Trade was already shaping in the ministerial 
mind ; foreshadowing the events of the next four 
years. What the unconstitutional Budget of 1909 
failed to do, the No- Veto revolution of 1910-11 came 
near accomplishing, with the timely aid of an American 
Reciprocity agitation across the Atlantic. 

Accordingly Mr. Lloyd George urged the im- 

1 The Coalition majorities in the House of Commons were : in 1906, 354 ; 
in 1910, 124- Since the Coalition includes 82 Irish Nationalists, who are said 
to be Protectionist, though they subordinate Tariff Reform to Home Rule, it 
appears that there is no longer a genuine majority for Free Trade. 



l'HKFKUKN(T. THE MANCKI) DOOR 41 

portance of devoting consideration forthwith to other 

...... .... . 

possibilities of commercial co-operation which were "other 

not so controversial. He commended the several 
suggestions made by Sir Joseph Ward. They were 
worth " most careful consideration." But he at 
once went far to reduce the alternatives by ruling 
out shipping subsidies ; a Select Committee having 
lately condemned the principle except in very special 
circumstances, such as those of the trade with East 
Africa. As to combined through rates, he hinted 
at "a reconsideration of the whole problem of our 
railway system," with a view to profiting by Ger- 
many's example. He explained that he could not 
promise anything definite at once ; but he had been 
seeing experts in regard to the All-Red mail pro- 
position. He concluded his lengthy address with a 
characteristic appeal (recalling the Prime Minister's 
statement about thirteen millions " on the verge of 
hunger") for pity on the masses struggling with 
" unendurable poverty," in a country which was at 
once " the richest under the sun " and the most 
steeped in misery though of course Free Trade 
was in no degree responsible for that unhappy co- 
incidence. 

Last of the British quartette came Mr. Winston Churchill's 
Churchill. Nominally he was to discuss " the effect 
of a system of preference upon the course of parlia- 
mentary business " ; but he could not resist reiterat- 
ing the old, wearisome, party scare-cries. He refused His loyalty 
to accept Mr. Deakin's postulate of fiscal autonomy lenders. 
as disposing of the indispensable scare-cry that the 
Colonies were asking for taxes on raw materials. 
He charged the Australian Premier with parrying 
an awkward question with a " correct " answer. 
After all, there was some advantage in intuitive 
omniscience : 
VOL. u 



242 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

" That request, if it is to be given effect to in any 
symmetrical, logical, complete, or satisfactory, or even 
fair and just manner, must involve new taxes on 
seven or eight staple articles of consumption in this 
country. I lay it down, without hesitation, that no 
fair system of preference can be established in this 
country which does not include taxes ... on wool 
and leather and on other necessaries of industry." 
(R, p. 401.) 

A " symmetrical, logical, complete, satisfactory, 
fair and just " system ; such are the exacting con- 
ditions to be satisfied, it appears, before any nation 
can enter into reciprocal trade arrangements with any 
two or more nations at the same time. How long 
will it take these politicians to discard a hypothesis 
of the Colonial relationship which for all practical 
purposes may justly be described as antediluvian ? 
Must the Empire wait for the whole generation of 
them to reach their graves before it can cast off the 
incubus of the notion that the Dominions are a bevy 
of infants crying to mamma for a " fair and just " 
distribution of sugar-plums? Such, however, has 
ever been the thraldom of the party system on 
the intellect of the professional politicians whom it 
creates. 

But the Under-Secretary's main thesis, and a 
perfectly tenable one, though Mr. Deakin bad some- 
thing to say about it presently, was that the 
addition to parliamentary business, and the more 
extensive friction of commercial interests which 
Reciprocity would bring, ought to be considered a 
decisive reason for rejecting that policy. 

His The British Empire existed, he argued, " on the 

Empire 7 principles of a family and not those of a syndicate." 

That, it may be remarked, was not the view 

taken by Mr. Asquith, whose very last words in 



PREFER!. N(T. -TIIK BANGED DOOR 24 

the debate were a protest against the principle of 
tivatiiiir "foreigners and the Colonies as it were 
differently"; 1 and it was indeed a curious conception 
of " family " which " banged and barred the door," 
;is Mr. Churchill boasted publicly, 2 against the 
principle of economic preference, which is the very 
origin of family life. 

But the pushful Under- Secretary had not yet "Locked 
finished piling up the agony. Reciprocity would 
conflict with the root-principle of " self-government," 3 
because it implied "locked preferences" such, in 
fact, as Canada, the protagonist of Colonial autonomy, 
was about to arrange with France and other foreign 
countries. 

Apologising to the chairman for exceeding his His 
bounds, Mr. Churchill proposed to " trench for a 
moment upon the economic aspect," on which pre- 
sumably he felt that he had something new and 
conclusive to say. Preference, he declared, meant 
nothing if it did not mean an increase of prices : 

" Dr. Jameson Oh no. It will make a much 
larger volume of trade, which is often better than 
better prices. 

"Mr. Churchill I assert, without reserve, that 
preference can only operate through the agency of 
price . . . the operation of preference consists in 
putting a penal tax upon foreign goods, and the object 
of putting that penal tax on foreign goods is to enable 
the Colonial supply to rise to the level of the foreign 
goods plus the tax. . . . 

" Dr. Jameson If you use the words ' more profit ' 
instead of ' better prices,' then that will explain the 
thing. 

1 R, p. 439. Supra, p. 180. 

3 Criticising the same objection to his American Reciprocity Agreement 
in 1911, Sir Wilfrid Laurier described it " as an insult to the intelligence of 
the Canadian people." (Canadian House of Commons, March 7, 1911.) 



244 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

" Mr. Dealdn Wholesale production is always 
cheaper than retail. It would be a great advantage 
to our farmers if they could simply increase their 
acreage at existing prices. On the whole transaction, 
without the alteration of a farthing in prices, they 
then would be much better off, because they would 
cultivate a larger crop more cheaply, transmit it 
more cheaply, and get the shipping accommodation 
more cheaply in bulk." 1 (R., pp. 403-4.) 

It had not occurred to the infallible Under- Secretary, 
when he snapped his retort at the Cape Premier, 
that in commerce "price" is not an end in itself but 
is only important as a channel of profit. What really 
matters, therefore, to producers is the margin between 
selling price and cost of production. Anything which 
lowers the cost of production (e.g. larger business) and 
marketing (e.g. exemption from tolls) is effective for 
adding to profits without involving an increase of 
price. 

Reverting to his original tbesis, Mr. Churchill 
threat. 10 hinted not obscurely that if Reciprocity were ever 
established he would lend a band in a patriotic move- 
ment to " organise and create anti-Colonial senti- 
ment," by preaching to the populace that, whatever 
the trade figures might appear to show, they were 
being taxed on tbeir food for the benefit of Colonial 
His contra- farmers. Resentment, he argued, would be all the 
arguments, greater, seeing that these " taxes would be irremov- 
able because fixed by treaty." But another of his 
objections to them was that " the introduction of the 
seven or eight taxes into the Budget every year" 
would mean that they would be continually under 
review. (Mr. Deakin was not slow to note the flag- 
rant inconsistency.) Suddenly forgetting about the 
"family" principle, he deplored tbe present and pro- 

1 Of. Lyne, supra, p. 200. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 245 

spective spectacle of the British Government having 
to defend " the purely domestic, internal fiscal system 
of this country " against the " severe though perfectly 
friendly and courteous criticism " of the other self- 
governing communities. There would be appeals, he 
apprehended, over the heads of the respective Govern- 
ments to the party organisations which supported or 
proposed them a practice which, it may be observed, 
whether good or bad, had already been initiated by 
those British Labour Members who had sent an appeal 
to the Australian Labour Party in connection with 
the recent Commonwealth elections. 1 Like his senior 
colleagues, he looked forward to progress in " making 
roads across the Empire," not "building walls" (the 
old scare metaphor again). In his vision there might 
some day be complete " Imperial unification." If 
he meant organic unity, this has never yet been 
achieved anywhere except on a basis of conscious 
economic inter-dependence. He hoped that 1907 
would be remembered by a grateful posterity "as a 
date in the history of the British Empire when one 
grand wrong turn was successfully avoided." Truly, 
posterity will remember that session, and will award 
to that Government, in the name of United Empire 
lost or won, the same meed which is already secured 
to Mr. Gladstone by a generation able to ponder 
the completed story of how South Africa came to 
union after fifty years of sorrow. 

Sir William Lyne, the Minister of Trade and 
Customs for the Commonwealth, had the distinction native's 
of being an Australian visiting the land of his fathers VI 
for the first time, which lends a special interest to his 
point of view. Immediately and repeatedly he de- 
plored the tone of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 
speech, which had struck him as being " alien to 

1 Supra, p. 206. 



246 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 



Aus- 
tralians 
not mendi- 
cants. 



Foreign 
trade 
sucking 
the life- 
blood. 



Britain's Colonies ; it was treating the British Colonies 
on a par with foreign nations." He could not carry 
the idea of fiscal independence so far as that. But 
he laboured under a sense of hopelessness after hear- 
ing Mr. Asquith. Judging by the way in which 
their arguments had been met, they might " talk for 
the next six months " without " the slightest hope 
of altering the position." The Australian desire for 
preferential trade relations was not "absolutely a 
commercial desire " ; it was more of an " instinctive " 
feeling : 

" We came here primarily to deal with this ques- 
tion. It is not the last, the laggard question, of the 
Conference in our estimation, nor is it so in the 
estimation of our people. It is the primary reason, 
if I may so term it, for our being here to-day. 

" Speaking from the standpoint of an Australian 
who has never before been out of Australia, I do not 
come here, and I think my Prime Minister does not 
come here, to plead in an abject way for anything. 
We do not come here to filch anything. We do not 
come here with a view to place the British consumer 
in a worse position than he has been in. But, speak- 
ing as a representative of the greatest, though most 
distant part of the Empire, I desire clearly to lay 
before you matters which seem to me to be of great 
moment to the Empire, and I do not speak with any 
wish of derogation from that great country, Canada. 
If, however, Sir Wilfrid Laurier will look up statistics, 
he will find that the export trade of Australia last year 
was nearly 14,000,000 more than Canada, and the 
total trade of Australia I think, from memory, is 
nearly 5,000,000 more than that of Canada; this 
when we have hardly commenced, as I say, to develop 
our country. . . . 

" During my lifetime in the southern hemisphere 
I have seen changes occur of startling moment to 
the Empire, and I feel it my duty to speak to this 
Conference, and try to give them some idea of these 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED nnou 

changes -which have and are now even to a greater 
extent taking place, so far as we are concerned. The 
changes I refer to are hard, solid facts to which we 
in our distant country cannot close our eyes. They 
are gradually sucking away the trade and I say this 
advisedly and with it the employment and life's- 
blood of the people of the Mother Country, and I 
also say that because the trade would be here were 
it not being forced to foreign countries; and the 
employment, too, would be here. I feel that these 
changes are attacking the very heart of the Empire, and 
I want it to be understood, with your permission, that 
I am a strong Britisher. Why? Because iny father " Callous 
came from Britain, and because my grandfather came Australia. 
from Britain; but as each new generation comes it 
has been presented to me very vividly that you want 
something more than that to keep up the interest 
that hitherto has been held by our forefathers and our- 
selves in Great Britain, and nothing will do that so well 
as closer unity in commerce. That is one thing that 
I am very anxious for. I see the younger generation 
callous to some extent ; thoroughly loyal in a sense, 
but callous. That is not so with the original stock, 
who were imbued with the feelings of their fathers 
and grandfathers in regard to Great Britain. This 
has impressed us very keenly." (R., p. 327.) 

Britain, he ventured to submit, was more vitally Economic 
interested than Australia in this trade question ; be- sion. 
cause other purchasers might eventually be found for 
the growing output of Australian raw material, and it 
would simply mean that while Australia got the money 
Britain lost the employment for her people. At the 
same time : 

" I do not want you to be misled by those who 
tell you that if Britain refuses the preference sug- 
gested, we shall of necessity make treaties elsewhere. 
No, Australia is loyal, but that action may compel us 
to sell our wares to the foreigner instead of Britain, 



248 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

and we are doing it to a very large extent in some 
parts now. We can only warn you of what we see, 
and when you have the full knowledge of things before 
you, we must, as has been said to-day, and said more 
than once, leave the matter entirely in the hands of 
the British people." (R., p. 328.) 

Among exceptional ^causes of the British decline he 
mentioned that goods were being carried from America 
via Britain to Australia at from 15s. to 20s. less per 
Effect of ton than the rate from Britain direct. In his view 
the duties necessary for Reciprocity would give Britain 



an additional revenue, which might be as useful there 
as it had been in Australia for purposes of social legis- 
lation, " not at the expense of the consumer but at the 
expense of the foreigner." He would not advocate the 
proposal for a moment were he not as fully convinced 
as Sir Joseph Ward that it would lighten rather than 
intensify the struggle of life for the British populace. 
The effect of Preference in expanding the area under 
cultivation in Australia, which would result from the 
greater economy of production and transport on the 
larger scale, would imply an additional population of 
" at least 200,000 more men Britons," who with their 
families would be purchasers of British manufactures. 
He suggested that the British people might be asked 
"by way of referendum " to say whether they were in 
favour of closer Imperial union. 

Smartton Dr. Smartt, the Cape Premier's colleague, followed 
the Australian Minister and endorsed his principal 
points. According to his impression Mr. Asquith's 
speech had been a " brilliant example of special 
pleading " : 

" It was a speech which, perhaps, might have been 
admirably delivered in support of the doctrine of Free 
Trade as against any controversion of that doctrine, but 
I must say I did look for some more sympathetic desire, 



ence. 




PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

while maintaining the doctrine of Free Trade (with 
which we, as members of this Conference, do not want 
in any way whatsoever to interfere) to try and arrive 
at some arrangement whereby the differences which 
separate us might be bridged over instead of meeting 
us with the proposition that it was absolutely and 
entirely impossible." (R., p. 344.) 

He, too, felt that the Imperial conception was not The 
quite the same thing for the native-born as it had bom. 
been for the immigrant generation : 

" This is absolutely certain, that you have now in 
the British Colonies large numbers of people who 
either were born in Great Britain or who have had 
intimate associations with Great Britain, but as your 
Colonies increase in size, as your population increases 
more and more, there will be vast numbers of those 
people who cannot have the old attachment and the 
old sympathy with the Mother Country that existing 
colonists have, and I feel convinced that in the distant 
future, if something is not done to unite more strongly 
than by mere sentiment the bonds of Empire, the 
result may be such as many of us here would not at 
all wish to contemplate." (R., p. 345.) 

He went on to urge the reasonableness of Britain cape 
giving preference on wine and tobacco under her p^tlc 
existing tariff, leaving aside non-essential questions e nce? r 
about wool and other articles. To show that Cape 
Colony was in earnest in regard to the principle of 
Preference he mentioned that the Agent-General had 
instructions to allow British manufacturers an advan- 
tage of 10 per cent, in respect of tenders for railway 
material. This concession had cost the Colony 
125,000 on a recent order for 1,250,000 worth of 
rolling stock, which could have been bought cheaper 
on the Continent ; but their aim had been to strengthen 
British rather than foreign commercial and naval 
power. In the South African market Germany had 



ence? r 



250 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

been making great strides, and only the 25 per cent. 

preference in the tariff of the Customs Union had 

prevented a large diversion from Manchester of the 

trade in the cheap prints which the natives fancied. 

Food As to the food-tax bogey, how would naval supremacy 

WMV avail to save Britain if a combination of the foreign 

countries on which she depended for corn could starve 

her into submission, without firing a shot, simply by 

withholding supplies ? 

It remained for the Prime Minister of the senior 
Dominion to fulfil the intention he had announced of 
moving the readoption of the 1902 Resolution, which 
urged inter alia the expediency of reciprocal preference 
in Britain. Though the British Ministers seem to 
have built great hopes on his co-operation in defeating 
the forward group, Sir Wilfrid Laurier quietly paid 
them back in their own coin by simply ignoring the 
arguments they had adduced : 

" At the opening of this debate I stated that, for 
my part, I intended at the proper time to move again 
the resolution which was affirmed by the Conference 
of 1902. I have listened with very great interest, as 
everybody has, and very great attention also, to every- 
thing that has been said, and I see no reason at present 
to change the opinion which I formed then." (R., 
pp. 407-8.) 

Ignoring entirely the partisan arguments of the British 
Ministers, he confined himself to the real questions of 
Free Trade principle and method. Allusion had been made to the 
German Zollverein by Mr. Deakin and others. Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier proceeded to deal with that idea 
as he had often dealt with it before. In the case 
of Germany, commercial union had preceded political 
union ; but in the British case political unity already 
existed to the extent of allegiance to a common Crown. 
Could commercial union follow ? 



PREFERENCE THE UAN(iEI) DOOR 2,51 

" If it were possible for us to have a system of 
Free Trade over the whole British Empire, and a 
customs cordon around the British Empire, for my 
part I would accept this as the very ideal of what the 
British Empire ought to be. I have expressed the 
opinion more than once and I will express it again. 
The Americans have a system of Free Trade amongst 
themselves covering forty-five States now, with a popu- 
lation of over 80,000,000 people. The Germans have 
a system of Free Trade among themselves covering 
nearly 60,000,000 people. ... If it were possible to 
have a system of Free Trade covering the whole 
British Empire with its population of something about 
400,000,000, it would undoubtedly be one of the 
greatest benefits that could be given to the British 
Empire, and, perhaps, to the world. Unfortunately 
this cannot be done, and for two reasons. First, the 
British people, as I understand at present their politi- 
cal opinion, are not prepared to limit their system of 
Free Trade even to the extent of the boundaries of the 
Empire. The other reason is, that the self-governing 
Dependencies which are here represented are not pre- 
pared to extend the system of Free Trade to the limits 
of the British Empire, nor even to the extent of their 
own boundaries. These factors are here before us, 
and we must accept them as they are." (R., p. 408.) 

In Canada, he pointed out, the Dominion had 
" only two sources of revenue customs and excise 
no other. We have no income-tax, and no direct 
taxation of any kind." So Canada must insist on Motive of 
retaining a tariff for revenue. But she had modified preference 
her tariff with British Preference : 

" Why did we do it ? We did it because we were 
intensely convinced in the country which I represent 
that a great advantage would accrue from preferential 
trade within the Empire. We could not do it in any 
other way. We gave our preference to the British 
products in our country. We did it deliberately, and 



252 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

have had no cause to regret it since. . . . We have in 
some cases increased it, and in some cases decreased 
it; but on the whole we have maintained the 33| per 
cent, (rebate). This has been adopted without any 
serious challenge even on the part of the Opposition. 
. . . We believed in the system of preferential trade, 
and believed and now know that, by adopting this 
system, we would improve our trade, that is to say, we 
believed that the British people would buy more from 
us and we would sell more to them, and that has 
certainly been the result of it." 1 (R., p. 409.) 

Fighting Mr. Asquith had not been satisfied with the result, 
with complaining that the United States which sent much 
raw and semi-raw material to Canada still enjoyed 
more favourable treatment on the whole than Britain 
in the Canadian tariff. Without disputing the figures, 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier argued that they put a misleading 
complexion on the Canadian policy : 

" We have done everything that we could that 
has been our policy to throw the whole of our trade 
towards Great Britain. . . . 

" So far as legislation can influence trade we have 
done everything possible to push our trade towards the 
British people, as against the American people. . . . 

" Not only have we done it by preference, by legis- 
lation, but we have forced our trade against the laws of 
nature and geography. If we were to follow the laws 
of nature and geography between Canada and the 
United States, the whole trade would flow from south 
to north and from north to south. We have done 
everything possible by building canals and subsidising 
railways to bring the trade from west to east and east 
to west, so as to bring trade into British channels. All 
this we have done, recognising the principle of the 



i Another reason, often put forward by Canadian Ministers in their own 
country, was that the rebate on British imports meant a reduction of taxation 
to Canadian purchasers of manufactured goods. Cf. vol. i. p. 356. 



PREFERENCE THE n.\N<;r.n DOOR 

great advantage of forcing trade within the British 
Empire. 

" This principle we recognise. We are bound to 
say that though the preference which we have given tooompiet* 
has not done as much, perhaps, for British trade as the the 8 y tenj - 
British merchant or manufacturer would like, we have 
told tho British people at the same time that there is 
a way of doing more. There is the preference of mutual 
trade, and that was what we had in view when we 
adopted in 1902 the resolution of that year. 

" Let me read out to the Conference the Resolution The policy 

of 1902 'That the Prime Ministers of the ofim 

Colonies urge on His Majesty's Government the ex- 
pediency of granting in the United Kingdom prefer- 
ential treatment to the products and manufactures of 
the Colonies, either by exemption from or reduction of 
duties now or hereafter imposed." My friend, Mr. 
Deakin, speaking on behalf of Australia, has proposed 
to go one step beyond this and to adopt this resolu- 
tion : ' That it is desirable that the United Kingdom 
grant preferential treatment to the products and manu- 
factures of the Colonies.' Perhaps, on consideration, 
Mr. Deakin would agree with us, that it would be 
preferable not to force this, but to keep to the Resolu- 
tion of 1902. We are all agreed at this table those 
who come from the Dependencies beyond the Seas 
that we have no desire and no intention of forcing a 
policy which we believe in, upon the British people, if 
they are not prepared to receive it. I have stated a 
moment ago that a statement had been made we 
heard it in 1902, and we hear it again in 1907 that 
the Canadian preference has not done as much for 
British trade as had been hoped for. I repeat, there 
is a way of doing it. It is by adopting a mutual system 
of preference. . . . 

" This is a matter which is altogether in the hands Britain to 
of the British people, and they have to choose between c 
one thing and the other ; and if they think on the whole 
that their interests are better served by adhering to 
their present system than by yielding ever so little, it 



254 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

is a matter for the British electorate. ... I think the 
best way of serving the whole is by allowing every part 
to serve and recognise its own immediate interests. . . . 
" For this reason, I say it is better to agree to stand 
by the Resolution of 1902 as it was. I am free to say 
that at that time when we passed this resolution, we 
were induced to pass it to some extent I will not say 
immediately, but certainly influenced in our determina- 
tion by the fact that at that time certain duties had 
been put upon cereals in a moment of urgency during 
the war, and we thought at that time that it would be 
good policy to give a preference upon these. But the 
British Parliament thought differently, and removed 
the duties instead of giving us a preference. ... It is 
essential we leave to each community the extent and 
measure of the preference which it wants to give." 
(R., pp. 409-12.) 

Looking back, Sir Wilfrid Laurier's statement 
introducing his motion to reaffirm the 1902 Resolu- 
tion may possibly have had a more precise significance 
than was realised at the time, or he cared to express 
more explicitly. It was rather a subtle distinction 
that he drew between (a) urging, as in 1902, the ex- 
pediency of preference in Britain, on the basis of 
existing or future duties, and (b) affirming, as in the 
Australian motion, that preference in Britain was 
" desirable." Surely the second was implied in the 
first. From a strictly Canadian standpoint, however, 
the situation had, as he pointed out in one of the 
passages quoted above, fundamentally changed. The 
corn duty a tax on Canada among other corn-export- 
ing countries had gone. Whatever interest South 
Africa might have in the surviving duties on wine and 
tobacco, there was no longer in the British tariff any 
duty in respect of which it would be worth Canada's 
while to pay a price for exemption or reduction. 

But though Sir Wilfrid Laurier was concerned 



PREFERENCE -THE BANGKI) DOOR 

to lay stress on the abolition of the corn duty, he NO offer 

nevertheless wished to renllinn the Resolution which Canada in 

1907 

that vanished circumstance had originally inspired. 
A sufficient explanation may be found in the words 
of the Resolution "or hereafter imposed," implying 
that, if Britain hereafter were to reimpose the corn 
duty, or similar tolls on other products imported 
from Canada, the Dominion would expect preference 
thereunder. But it is noteworthy that this time, in 
contrast to 1902, Canada did not offer to increase her 
British preference in return for the desired exemption 
or reduction of British duties. By not repeating the 
offer so deliberately made in 1902, did Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier mean it to be understood that Canada had 
reached the limit of her preference, whether unilateral 
or with reciprocity ? Some colour might appear to 
be lent to that view by his reply to Mr. Asquith's 
question l and by the circumstances that he took 
pains, in the course of his speech, to argue that the 
Canadian preference was already much more liberal 
than that of the other Dominions which had since 
followed suit. On the other hand, it may be pointed 
out that he did not contradict Dr. Jameson when 
expressly associated by him with the general policy 
of offering increased preference in the event of reci- 
procal benefits in Britain. 2 At any rate Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier was not explicit in 1907 with regard to 
increased preference, as he had been in 1902. From 
Canada alone there was no "offer" this time. His 
suggestion that " mutual " preference would afford a 
way of rendering the Canadian policy more effective 
in British interests was not a promise to increase the 
extent or margin of the preference at the Canadian 

1 Supra, p. 224. 

2 Supra, p. 214. It may be noted also that recently in the Canadian 
House of Commons he had affirmed the original policy, tupra, p. 51. 



256 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 



The 
"inter- 
mediate " 
tariff. 



Not for 
American 
Reci- 
procity 



end. Whatever Sir Wilfrid Laurier may have in- 
tended, there was no recorded " offer " from Canada 
this time as there had been in 1902. 

Continuing, the Canadian Premier dealt with a 
matter which was creating widespread apprehension : 

" I am coming to a point which was made the 
other day by Dr. Jameson with regard to our inter- 
mediate tariff'. We have revised our tariff this year 
and have adopted a new principle. We had a two- 
column principle a tariff for general purposes and 
a preferential tariff. Between the preferential tariff 
and the general tariff we have now an intermediate 
tariff. The object of this intermediate tariff is to 
enter into negotiations with other communities to 
have our trade arrangements with them. It has 
been supposed that this was to hit our American 
neighbours. With our American neighbours we should 
be only too glad to trade on a better footing than 
at the present time. We are next-door neighbours, 
and in many things we can be their best market, 
as in many things they can be our best market. We 
should be glad to trade with them ; but it never was 
intended, nor thought at the time, that this inter- 
mediate tariff could apply to the United States. 
There was at one time wanted reciprocity with them, 
but our efforts and our offers were negatived and put 
aside, and we have said good-bye to that trade, and 
we have put all our hopes upon the British trade 
now. But there are other nations France is one 
and Italy another with which we could have better 
trade than at the present time. France has a minimum 
tariff, and we are prepared to exchange our inter- 
mediate tariff if they will exchange their minimum 
tariff with us. But while giving this intermediate 
preference, we maintain the system of lower tariff to 
the Mother Country, and to all our fellow British 
subjects all over the world. Dr. Jameson made the 
point that if we were to enter into such an agreement 
with foreign nations, we would debar the possibility of 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 257 

giving a preference to the Mother Country. Nothing 
of the kind. Our tariff is not so constructed, and 
cannot be so held. If we were to make an agree- nor an 
ment with France, which I doubt whether we could, to 
France would understand the position ; she would 
take our intermediate tariff knowing at the same 
time there was a lower differential tariff under all 
circumstances for the Mother Country and the British 
Dominions. 

"Mr. F. E. Moor I am sorry to interrupt, but I 
would like the Premier of Canada to assure us on 
this point. By that amount which you reduced it to 
any other foreign Power, you reduce your Preference 
with the Home Land. 

" Mr. Deakin And with us. 

"Sir Wilfrid Laurier I do not admit that we 
would reduce it, it would remain as it is, but the man 
who trades with us in Great Britain knows that he 
may have a competitor not upon the same lines but 
upon reduced lines from our general tariff. 

" Mr. Asquith He may have a competitor on the 
line of the immediate tariff, if, for instance, you came 
to an arrangement with France. 

"Sir Wilfrid Laurier That is to say, instead of 
having a margin of 33 per cent., he may have a 
margin of only 25 per cent. It makes that difference, 
no doubt. 

"Mr. Asquith But it cannot alter the quantum 
of preference. 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier No, it cannot alter the 
quantum of preference. 

"Dr. Smartt Your tariff (rebate) is now 33 per 
cent. If you introduce an intermediate tariff the 
preference in favour of Great Britain or the other 
British Colonies that might reciprocate with you would 
not be 33 J per cent., but would be reduced. 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier It could be reduced by 3 
and 4, but never more than 5 per cent. ; that is to 
say, instead of having a preference in our market of 
33$, he would have a preference with regard to that 

VOL. H R 



258 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

nation, say, of 28 per cent. That would be the limit." 
(R., pp. 412-14.) 

Many will reflect, on reading the foregoing, that 
in 1907 the Canadian statesmen were embarking on 
a course which they do not seem to have found so 
easy to steer as they had expected. But there was 
one more matter to which Sir Wilfrid Laurier desired 
The cattle to call attention. He held that Canada had a 
" well-founded " grievance in the British regulation 
forbidding the importation of live cattle lest disease 
should be introduced to British herds. He declared 
that the effect was to brand Canadian cattle as 
" tainted with disease," though Canada had an effec- 
tive quarantine system and claimed that her cattle 
were just as healthy as those of Britain : 

" It is a thing which ought not to be allowed. It 
is a slander upon our good name. It is a thing which 
rankles in our breast because we know it is not fair, 
and I go further, and I say that it is maintained not 
upon questions of sanitary precaution but ulterior 
motives which a Free Trade Government should not 
allow and uphold. . . . 

" If you were to say, ' We do not want the Canadian 
cattle to come in competition with British cattle in 
the market,' that would be quite another matter. 
That would be a question of policy for the British 
Government to which we would have nothing to say." 
(R.,p. 415.) 

Mr. Asquith hastened to assure the Canadian 
Premier of his personal sympathy. But many English- 
men feel inclined to protest in their turn against the 
" slander " upon the good name of their Board of 
Agriculture, which has quite sincerely urged succes- 
sive Governments to maintain the regulation not 
against Canadian cattle more than others on sanitary 
grounds, and has succeeded in restraining from a re- 



PREFERENCETHE BANGED DOOR 

versa! of policy even a Government whose members 
for the most part had actively opposed the regulation. 

Moreover, Sir Wilfrid Laurier mentioned another 
reason which helped to explain the Canadian anxiety 
for removal of the embargo. " It obliges the exporter 
to take a lesser price" for his cattle. In Britain, on 
the other hand, the Free Traders were denouncing the 
embargo as the main cause of a rise in the price of 
meat. But since Canadian dead meat was not ex- 
cluded from the butchers' shops, Sir Wilfrid Laurier's 
view of the economic result was probably the more 
correct one, albeit contrary to the theory that the 
consumer always has to pay for any restriction on 
imports. 

Mr. Deakin could not allow the debate to conclude 
without replying to Mr. Churchill's political criticism churchir. 
of Preference. He protested that to insist upon a 
"complete, uniform, and scientifically perfect" system 
of Preference was to impose a condition of immediate 
perfection which was not and could not be exacted in 
connection with any other kind of budget, tariff, or 
financial proposal in any country. Gradual, and per- 
haps remote, approximations to the ideal were all that 
practical statesmen could ever hope for. Like every 
other new policy, Preference should be approached ex- 
perimentally in the first instance. No preference had 
been, or in practice could be, proposed " in perpetuity." 
It could only be for a limited, i.e. experimental period. 
In these matters the representatives of the Dominions 
were speaking on the strength of their actual ex- 
perience : 

" Looking at the Commonwealth, if you tell us if Australia 1 ! 
we do something we will have to do a great deal more, e^erT- 
I say my experience does not warrant that conclusion. ence - 
It is perfectly true a new start may establish a tend- 
ency, if it is successful, encouraging you to go further 



Progress 
by experi- 
ment. 



"Laws" 
of political 
economy. 



260 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

but if it is not successful it establishes a tendency 
to go back. We have gone back when we have thought 
we have made a mistake, and gone forward when we 
have thought we have made a success. 

" No one, so far as I am aware, has had in view a 
particular negotiation with each particular Dominion. 
What we all had in contemplation, if Preference had 
approached the practical stage, was a general agree- 
ment of a simple character at first, which might in 
time be supplemented and extended. Its enlargement 
would be based on experience. . . . 

" I do not say that working out a complete and 
uniform and perfect system of Preference is an easy 
thing. I only say that none of us believed or expected 
it can be done until after years of experience, but what 
we would have been quite satisfied with now would 
have been an experiment, no matter how small, so 
long as it was genuine; something tentative, some- 
thing modest, even if only made by means of re- 
ductions of existing duties. We wish for something 
that will enable us to test experimentally, as for my 
part I think we ought to test, these and other similar 
suggestions. . . . 

"The Under- Secretary of State . . . seemed to 
convey the idea that the way even for practical ex- 
periments, for practical tests of the smallest, the 
simplest and most tentative kind, is absolutely barred 
by reason of certain beliefs which they entertain in 
regard to what they call the laws of political economy. 
That is unfortunate, because it makes argument use- 
less ; it brings you right up against a wall. . . . There 
is no hope of convincing a man who starts out with an 
orthodox faith which tells him beforehand what can or 
cannot be done and what can or cannot be believed, 
which makes everything not included in that faith 
heterodox unbelief, neither to be weighed nor balanced, 
but to be banished to the nethermost pit. . . . 

" Our own experience teaches us that the field of 
abstract economics is as far from the actual practical 
considerations which operate in the daily working of 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 261 

our financial and legislative expedients as are the 
principles of pure mathematics from the daily labours 
of carpenter or joiner. . . . 

" Listening to the very forcible utterances of the Preference 
Under-Secretary, one naturally looks to actual ex- 
perience to discover the long chain of very hazardous 
and serious consequences which he insists must flow 
in this country whenever these preferences are to be 
criticised, or upon which . . . comment is possible 
every year. What is our experience after the grant- 
ing of preferences ? In Canada, New Zealand, and 
with a shorter experience, South Africa, we have 
budgets as controversial, legislators just as sensitive 
to public opinion, oppositions just as hostile and eager 
to find material, sections just as able to make use of 
any weapon in the armoury of parliamentary pro- 
cedure. We have seen all those forces in play . . . 
in the Dominions for a certain number of years with- 
out their furnishing us with any single instance of any 
exceptional abuse or injury due to the existence of 
their preferences, or indeed of their tariffs. ... I do 
not think that the temperature of politics is any lower 
in the Commonwealth and its States than elsewhere. 
I might even be prepared to maintain the contrary 
from my own personal experience. But in the bitterest 
struggles that we have ever had upon exactly the 
matters on which Mr. Churchill dwelt so strenuously, 
when we were charged with taxing the food of the 
people and taxing the raw materials of manufactures, 
and particularly the implements of agriculturists all 
these contentions, though fought out with the greatest 
bitterness, politically, at the moment, have vanished, 
and will not leave a trace behind. . . . 

" We have had experience of pretty well every kind 
of fiscal experiment that can be devised, and every 
kind of strife that can arise out of it, but we have 
found nothing whatever in our own actual experience 
to justify Mr. Churchill's morbid anticipations. ..." 

In Mr. Deakin's view reciprocal preferences would 



262 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Red- sooner or later have to be " embodied in a treaty," l as 
treaty! 7 he could not imagine a constantly shifting arrange- 
ment. Mr. Churchill had seemed in one part of his 
argument to share that opinion, but in another he had 
talked about taxes coming annually under review. 
The Under- Secretary who seems to have left the 
chamber immediately afterwards in the middle of 
Mr. Deakin's reply to him now explained that he 
had meant " criticism " only, not revision. Mr. Deakin 
commented : 

Criticism "Anything is subject to criticism . . . criticism 

ofdemoc- w must always have. ... I do not suppose anybody 

racv - wishes to check the growth of the Empire in order to 

avoid criticism ... it suggests the indulgence of a 
riotous imagination when we find the Under-Secretary 
pointing to the natural, the ordinary, the inevitable 
proceedings in every Legislature as ground for reject- 
ing a new development of policy, because it must 
involve a clashing of interests, and the annual review 
of its incidence by Parliament. Is our party system 
to destroy everything except itself ? Are we to put 
aside great projects because they are debatable, or 
close the Empire to avoid friction in the House of 
Commons ? We cannot move without friction, nor 
live without differences of opinion. We cannot ad- 
vance without the clash of opposing interests. Every 
development of self-government, and every growth of 
our industrial life, and every extension of the powers 
of the State, invite criticism and inquiry. Free 
criticism is the breath of our constitution. To shrink 
from great tasks or newer enterprises because of the 
greater burden they impose upon representatives, and 
representative institutions, means simply shrinking 
from growth, and the responsibilities of growth . . . 
he is really condemning our whole system of Govern- 
ment and its adaptability to modern needs. He is 
criticising, by implication unfavourably, that parlia- 

1 Also Sir Wilfrid Laurier's view, cf. vol. i. p. 369 (note). 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 

montary system which he is ostensibly at the same 
moment enthusiastically upholding or intending to 
uphold. 

" His argument is also fatal to all possibilities of The propi 
commercial relations, not only within the Empire, but tiorT^ 
without the Empire . . . his argument appears to 
me to go to the root of the Empire as an empire. It 
would isolate Great Britain, not only in trade but in 
every other operation, forbidding joint action ; it would 
tell against every operation by agreement. It would 
enforce isolation. . . . 

" My general answer to his thesis is summed up Policy of 
in the proposition that he is like the medical man^)." 1 
who confines his patient to an invalid chair because, 
if he takes exercise or performs his natural duties, he 
runs a risk of complications, of catching cold, of all 
kinds of diseases and imaginable physical accidents. 
I admit his aim. If you can get the British Empire 
into an invalid chair, you may save it from a certain 
number of risks, though I think those you invite by 
this treatment will be more serious, because debility 
of body threatens more dangerous results than healthy, 
natural occupation or exercise. Especially will it be 
found more depressing than a real effort to act in 
concert." (R., pp. 417-26.) 

The final phase of this historic debate was the Haggling 
formal submission of resolutions, each member of the solutions. 
Conference being asked in turn to vote. Mr. Deakin 
accepted Sir Wilfrid Laurier's suggestion that instead 
of the new Australian resolution (affirming that pre- 
ference in Britain was "desirable") the old one of 
1902 should be re-adopted in its entirety. The 
Canadian Premier thought that the old Resolution 
had the advantage of avoiding any appearance of 
"dictating" to the United Kingdom, since the lan- 
guage did not suggest that any new duties ought 
to be imposed. In fact, however, the 1902 Resolution 
did clearly imply that it would be expedient for the 



264 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

United Kingdom to reduce or abolish the existing 
duties on wine, tea, tobacco, cocoa, sugar, &c., imported 
from within the Empire. That point did not escape 
the vigilance of the British Government, who insisted, 
through Lord Elgin, 1 on recording their dissent from 
the Resolution "in so far as it implies that it is neces- 
sary or expedient to alter the fiscal system of the 
United Kingdom." 
The British The British Government had a resolution of their 

resolu- 
tions, own to propose : 

" That this Conference, recognising the importance 
of attaining greater freedom and fuller development 
of commercial intercourse within the Empire, believes 
that these objects may best be secured by leaving to 
each part of the Empire liberty of action in selecting 
the most suitable means for attaining them, having 
regard to its own special conditions and requirements." 
(R., p. 429.) 

Dr. Jameson saw through it at once : 

" We have said, the members of this Conference 
outside His Majesty's Government are in favour of 
preference as a method of the unity or whatever you 
like to call it. His Majesty's Government gives a 
direct negative, and we are both to vote for liberty 
of action, so it means nothing. We all agree we are 
to have liberty of action, but what is implied in this 
is that we are voting Yes is No and No is Yes." 
(R.,p. 431.) 

Mr. Asquith insisted, however, that the words about 
liberty of action were the least dispensable part to 
the British Government. In the end, at Dr. Jameson's 
suggestion, an amended resolution was passed with 
the safeguarding preface : " Without prejudice to the 
resolution already accepted or the reservation of His 
Majesty's Government, this Conference, &c." 

1 R., p. 426. 



PREFERENCE THE BANGED DOOR 265 

Dr. Jameson proposed also a resolution affirm- 
ing that, since the British Government through its 
partnership in the South African Customs Union had 
already accepted the principle of giving preference 
against foreign countries, " it should now take into 
consideration the possibility of granting a like pre- 
ference to all portions of the Empire on the present 
dutiable articles in the British tariff." l 

As Mr. Deakin remarked, this was only " a request 
to consider " ; nothing more mandatory than that. 
The motion was supported by him, and also by the 
Premiers of Natal, New Zealand, and Newfoundland. 
But General Botha declined to vote for it although 
it really went no further than the Resolution of 1902, 
which he had already helped to pass and Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier had left on account of another engagement. 
Mr. Asquith, however, was decisive. Oblivious that 
the Under-Secretary had committed the Government 
to regarding the Empire as a " family," 2 he declared : 

" It means that we are to consider the question 
whether we shall treat the foreigners and the Colonies 
as it were differently, and that we conceive we are not 
able to do." (JR., p. 439.) 

Such were the last words of the British Government 
in 1907, their final answer to the proposal that the 
Empire should be endowed with the vital principle of 
family life or organic unity. 

1 R., p. 439. Supra, p. 242. 



CHAPTER XIV 

SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 

OF the fifteen days (between April 15th and May 
14th) which made the session of 1907, five were 
occupied with Preference ; another five were divided 
between the Constitution and Defence ; and the 
remaining five were assigned to a variety of sub- 
sidiary subjects, of which the Imperial Court of 
Appeal and the Imperial Development Fund occu- 
pied the most time. At this session, therefore, the 
paramount position of Preference was amply recog- 
nised in the allocation of the available time. The 
discussions on the subsidiary questions may now be 
reviewed, leaving for a final chapter those which 
were of the greatest practical interest. 

FOREIGN -A- special and interesting aspect of the 1907 

TIONS" session is that for the first time the Conference itself 
was used as a kind of court of appeal, or protest, 
The Con- against the manner in which the British Government 
were exercising their Imperial function in regard to 
foreign relations. This was a decided advance on the 
more elementary practice of taking the opportunity 
which these gatherings afforded for private discus- 
sion between the representatives of the particular 
Dominion and the Foreign or Colonial Secretary. 
Australia and Newfoundland 1 had each a complaint 
to bring forward, though in very different circum- 
stances. The only points in common were that in 
both cases the British Government had concluded an 

1 Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, attended specially (on this 
occasion only) to hear Sir Robert Bond's statement. R., p. 587. 



266 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 267 

agreement with a foreign Power without duly con- 
sulting the Colonial Government whose interests 
were specially affected ; and that the origin of the 
foreign complication was economic, illustrating the 
need of an Imperial trade policy. The major part of 
the discussion seems in both cases to have been with- 
held from publicity, but the speeches in which the re- 
spective Premiers outlined the situation are recorded. 

Friction had occurred between the Commonwealth NEW 
and the Colonial Office in regard to a Convention oovra- 
with France respecting the New Hebrides. The 
trouble was really due, Mr. Deakin pointed out, 
to a fundamental difference of standpoint. In the 
traditional and official British view of the matter 
the Australians were a " grasping people," who, 
occupying a territory larger than they could even 
attempt to develop properly, were nevertheless 
reaching out after islands in the Pacific. In the 
Australian view, on the other hand, " it is not a 
series of grasping annexations that we have been 
attempting, but a series of aggravated and exas- 
perating losses which we have had to sustain." 
What the British people and officials had forgotten 
was that in the early days Britain had claimed, and 
to some extent exercised control over all the islands 
lying in that region. When Governor Philip was 
sent to New South Wales his commission embraced 
specifically " adjacent islands," which in Australia 
was held to include everything as far as Tahiti 
(north-east of New Zealand). The New Hebrides, 
at any rate, had been distinctly included with New 
Zealand ; and the British title was abandoned only 
in 1840. During the last thirty years a good many 
of these islands, including Fiji, had been brought 
definitely under the British flag. But when the 
British Government sought, as had been the case, 



268 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

to offer this fact as a proof of vigilance and enter- 
prise, they seemed to forget that their action had 
been the reluctant result of constant pressure from 
Australia, and that all it amounted to was a belated 
effort to prevent the whole of a rightful British 
dominion from being filched piecemeal by outsiders 
who never had a shadow of a claim to it. More 
than once the Australians had been assured that 
their apprehensions of foreign encroachment were 
groundless as in the notable case of New Guinea 
only to discover later on that they had been 
only too well founded. The difference between the 
Australian and British attitude meant simply that 
the Australians were always trying to safeguard the 
future of their country, in a period when the settled 
policy of the British Government was to let the 
Empire drift and to assume no further responsi- 
bilities. That time had passed ; but the influence 
of the tradition was still apparent in the careless 
handling in Downing Street of British interests in 
the Pacific. Though the Australian agitation had 
been continuous and persistent for over twenty years, 
the Anglo-French treaty of 1904 had not embraced 
a settlement of the New Hebrides question, which 
had led to the immediate cause of the present 
Australian protest. 

Australia In 1887 the Australian delegates to the Con- 
suitedln fercnce had found the British Government quite 
Sons. ia " prepared to let France take the New Hebrides, and 
only their strenuous opposition to that course had 
prevented the surrender. 1 But nothing was done for 
the next ten or fifteen years to support Australian 
(i.e. British) interests, though a number of mis- 
sionaries and Australian settlers had established 
themselves in the islands, and a considerable trade 

1 The discussion at the 1887 Conference was treated as private. 



SUBSIDIARY gCESTIONS 269 

had been developed with the free port of Sydney. 
At last, in 1902, a British Resident had been 
appointed, but without the facilities of transport 
which were essential to his. utility. As a result 
of the trade with Sydney, much fuller and more 
up-to-date information regarding conditions in the 
islands was available in Australia than in Downing 
Street. The British Government were dependent 
on their High Commissioner, who was stationed in 
remote Fiji, and who only paid flying visits, at 
rare intervals, to the New Hebrides. In these 
circumstances it was reasonable to expect that 
the Commonwealth would be consulted whenever 
negotiations respecting the islands were on foot. In 
August 1905 the Commonwealth Government, de- 
spairing of getting the British Government to annex 
the New Hebrides, and thus enable a settlement 
of the disputes concerning land titles and other 
matters, including some which involved friction with 
the French interests there, had sent a despatch 
asking the British Government whether it would 
be possible to arrange a joint protectorate with 
France, and if so, on what terms. No reply what- 
ever had been vouchsafed to that inquiry. But in 
the following March, 1906, a Convention with France 
had been suddenly thrown, as it were, at the head 
of the Commonwealth Government with an intima- 
tion that it must be accepted or rejected practically 
as it stood. Without undertaking to criticise the 
substance of the convention, Mr. Deakin desired to 
record an emphatic protest against the manner in 
which it had been reached. 1 It was the work of a 

1 Mr. Seddon's last public message, delivered a few hours before his death 
(June 10, 1906), dealt with the New Hebrides question : 

" The Commonwealth and New Zealand Governments are incensed at 
the Imperial Government conference fixing conditions of dual protec- 
torate in the New Hebrides without first consulting the Colonies so deeply 



270 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

joint commission, on which France had been repre- 
sented by ex-officials and others having an intimate 
first-hand knowledge of the New Hebrides, whereas 
the British representatives had no such knowledge. 
No attempt whatever had been made to consult 
the Australian Government, who had at their dis- 
posal much fuller information than was available in 
Downing Street. 

To make matters worse Mr. Churchill, speaking 
in the House of Commons for the Minister in charge 
of the Colonial Office, had flagrantly misrepresented 
the Australian policy. On the strength of having 
communicated the French agreement after it had 
been drafted he had denied the allegation, which was 
practically true, that the Commonwealth had not 
been consulted. He had further insinuated that the 
Commonwealth Government had shown themselves 
quite indifferent to the interests of British settlers in 
the New Hebrides, particularly by instituting a tariff 
which taxed copra, the principal export, and other 
products of the islands. Even now the Under-Secre- 

interested. The Imperial Government calls upon us now for advice upon 
what is already decided, making our difficulties very great. The entire 
subject is of vital importance to the Commonwealth and New Zealand. 
We ought to have been represented at the conference. If anybody had 
been there for us who knew anything about the subject, the result would 
have been very different. Whoever represented Britain, French diplomacy 
was too much for them. I cannot honourably say anything further, 
my hands and tongue are tied by the Imperial Government, but I wish I 
had the power of Joshua to make the sun stand still." (Drummond's Life 
of R. J. Seddon, p. 365.) 

Mr. Seddon could never forgive Britain for having relaxed her hold on so many 
of the Pacific islands ; especially Samoa, whose king had been ready to accept 
annexation. As regards the Hawaiian Islands, he stated that the repub- 
lican Government had been ready to accept a joint British-American protec- 
torate. He had interviewed (apparently in 1905) Mr. John Sherman, the 
American Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who had assured him that there was 
no prospect of American annexation, the Monroe doctrine forbidding it ; but 
President McKinley, on the other hand, told him that he was all for annexation. 
Mr. Seddon said that his representations in London were "pooh-poohed," 
the Foreign Office being convinced that the United States would never annex. 
(Ibid., p. 325. Cf. supra, vol. i. p. 198.) 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 271 

tary claimed the authority of the High Commissioner 
for the assertion that Australian tariff policy "over 
a long period of years had been prejudicial to the 
development of British settlements in the New 
Hebrides." 1 What were the facts? The trade of 
the islands was with the port of Sydney. Up to 
two years ago Sydney had been a free port for all 
the products. Neither then nor subsequently had 
there ever been an import duty on copra. When, in 
1904, the first federal tariff had come into operation, 
the wish of the Commonwealth had been to give the 
New Hebrides a preference on such products as were 
dutiable ; but the British Government had declared 
that it would contravene treaty rights. Accordingly 
the Commonwealth had made a grant of money by 
way of refunding to the settlers in the New Hebrides 
the duty collected on their maize, which was the 
principal product affected. The Australian policy 
had been all along to assist settlement in the New 
Hebrides in every possible way. Easy terms had 
been arranged for the occupation of land, and a steam- 
ship service had been subsidised, reducing the freight 
rates to Sydney by 75 per cent. But all this had 
been ignored in the official and prejudiced statements 
in Parliament of the British Government. They had 
thereby set public opinion in Australia unanimously 
against them, and had rendered it impossible for the 
Commonwealth Ministers to follow their traditional 
practice of trying to support statements made on 
behalf of the British Government. Mr. Deakin ex- 
plained that he had recalled these events not in 
order to reopen any question, but simply in hopes 
of preventing any recurrence of such conduct. 

To this damning indictment Lord Elgin had prac- 
tically no reply except that the British Government 

1 R., p. 557. 



272 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

had not meant it and would try to avoid any repetition 
of the misunderstanding. There had been a change of 
Government towards the end of 1905, half-way through 
the negotiations with France, and perhaps that cir- 
cumstance, he suggested, might have occasioned some 
oversight in neglecting to keep the Commonwealth 
informed of what was going on. 

NEW- Sir Robert Bond was in the middle of his retali- 

LAND atory campaign against the United States, which he 

FISHERIES . 

' had undertaken in the hope of forcing the American 
Senate to reconsider the question of ratifying the Hay- 
Bond reciprocity agreement. The campaign had soon 
brought him into conflict with the peace-at-any-price 
instincts of the British Government. They had signed 
a modus vivendi with the United States, which in 
effect conflicted with certain Newfoundland laws duly 
passed with the Royal assent. Sir Robert Bond held, 
quite rightly, that it was grossly unconstitutional and 
tyrannical for the British Government to presume to 
override, by merely executive action, valid Colonial 
statutes. The only constitutional method in such 
emergencies would be for the British Government to 
persuade the British Parliament to enact legislation 
overriding the obnoxious Colonial law. But in this 
instance the Liberal Cabinet, despite their over- 
whelming party majority, had shrunk from asking 
the approval of Parliament for the ignominious policy 
into which the American diplomatists had drawn them. 
The contentions of the American Government, which 
British Ministers seemed ready to accept, were, the 
Newfoundland Premier submitted, 

" sufficiently grave to warrant the most serious 
consideration of this Conference, inasmuch as they 
challenge the binding effect of Colonial laws upon 
foreign subjects when coining within the jurisdiction 
of a Colonial Government. The question affects the 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 273 

Colony that I represent principally and most vitally, 
but it also affects every Colony represented at this 
Conference. 

" I have had the privilege of discussing the question Board 
with Sir Edward Grey, of the Foreign Office, with your bi e d by 
Lordship and Mr. Winston Churchill, and have stated, g 
as clearly as I know how to do so, what I believe to be 
the rights of those I represent. That statement I 
desire to repeat here and now, for if it is held by this 
Conference to "be unreasonable or unduly exacting, I shall 
be prepared to modify it to meet what may be considered 
reasonable and right." (R., p. 587.) 

This was an appeal, as it were, of a peer to his 
peers ; the first time that the Government of any 
Dominion had placed themselves in the hands of the 
Imperial Conference and offered to modify their policy 
if the Conference thought proper. The particular 
crisis was only an incident in a long episode which 
cannot be described in this volume, but which illus- 
trates the intimate connection between economic in- 
terests and foreign relations. Though it is difficult 
Imperially to defend Sir Robert Bond's American 
policy, it is equally difficult not to sympathise with 
his objection to a form of coercion which no British 
Government would have ventured to apply to any 
Colony in a stronger position for resistance. At this 
early period of their career, with Mr. Churchill serv- 
ing Lord Elgin at the Colonial Office, the administra- 
tion of the Liberal Government was shortsighted, 
tactless, and overbearing. They seem to have re- 
garded the Dominions as the allies of their party 
enemy, and to have treated them accordingly. Not 
only in the case of Newfoundland which thus came 
up at the Conference, but in dealing with Natal 
also they were guilty of indefensible tyrannising. In 
connection with the Dominions, as in home affairs, 
the doctrine seemed to be that the people ought to 

VOL. II S 



274 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

govern themselves, but that the criterion of their fit- 
ness to do so was willingness to let themselves be 
governed by the omniscience of a Liberal Cabinet. 

" After a short adjournment," the Report states, 
" the Conference, after a discussion in private, agreed 
that Sir Robert Bond's statement should be recorded." 

TREATY The Australian resolution requesting the British 

Government to prepare a statement explanatory of 



Colonial obligations in regard to British treaties was 
passed without difficulty. Asked by Mr. Lloyd George 
to explain what was meant by "to ascertain how far 
it is possible to make those obligations and benefits 
uniform throughout the Empire," Mr. Deakin at once 
responded : 

" We quite recognise that in many cases there 
must be special treaties which will only affect parts 
of the Empire and not the whole of it. But surely it 
is desirable that these differences should be reduced to 
a minimum, and that, wherever possible, treaties should 
have sway if possible over the whole extent. In many 
cases they are relatively immaterial. Minor treaties 
are proposed to us, and we say no to them because we 
have no interest one way or the other ; but if it were 
represented to us that the Commonwealth was the only 
place in the Empire which was not agreeing, no doubt, 
for the sake of uniformity, we should say : ' Very well, 
we will fall in with it.' It does not mean very much, 
but it clears the way by encouraging general action 
instead of partial action. It is not intended to go 
further." (R., p. 467.) 

Conference A confidential memorandum was prepared by the 
Jaded. Board of Trade and circulated to the Conference. 
There was, however, no further discussion. Mr. 
Deakin remarked that "we have really no time to 
read and consider these papers." Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
found it " very satisfactory that no treaty should apply 
to any of the Dependencies unless they adhere to it, 



SUBSIDIARY 

and then provision is made in the treaty that they 
(.in put an end to it." Sir Joseph Ward had a 
resolution on the subject, which, at his request, the 
Conference agreed to pass. (No. XII. of 1907.) 

A Kesolution had been passed in 1902, at Mr. 

1*11 A UK 

Seddon's instance, and with the assent of Mr. Cham- 
berlain, calling the attention of the British Govern- 
ment to the advisability of refusing the privileges of 
coastwise trade, including trade between Britain and 
the Colonies, to countries which confined the corre- 
sponding trade to ships of their own nationality. 
Australia now proposed that the 1902 Resolution 
should be reaffirmed. The question had been inci- 
dentally discussed at the subsidiary Conference on 
Navigation. There the suggestion had been made 
that for trade purposes the British islets in the Pacific 
should be considered part of the Australasian coast- 
line ; but it had been felt that so important a question 
of intercolonial jurisdiction ought to be referred to 
the Imperial Conference itself. 

Quoting from the confidential Report of the 1902 
session, Mr. Deakin pointed out that if a retaliatory 
policy were adopted by the British Empire it would 
affect only the United States, Russia, and possibly 
France. Russia was as bad as the United States, 
having declared the trade between Odessa and Port 
Arthur to be coastwise trade ; but France monopolised 
only the trade between French and Algerian ports, 
and not her Colonial trade generally. Portugal had a 
compromise system, reserving the whole of her coastal 
trade but offering to open parts of it to countries 
which would agree to reciprocate. Mr. Deakin appre- 
hended that some contingency calling for action might 
arise suddenly, and he suggested therefore that they 
ought to have a policy in readiness. 

There was an old-standing Colonial grievance, 



276 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

The affecting especially Australasia and Canada. Not 

American ., . , . . iii 

offence, content with reserving their own coastwise trade, the 
Americans had included such places as Honolulu and 
even Manila in their definition of the American coast. 
Thus American vessels made the voyage from San 
Francisco to Sydney and back, picking up cargo and 
passengers at not only Honolulu but also New Zealand 
ports en route, whereas Australasian vessels e.g. the 
ships of the Union Steamship Company, which had 
tried to participate in the San Francisco mail service 
could not pick up anything at Honolulu, en route for 
San Francisco or on the return voyage. Canadian 
vessels trading between British Columbian and Cali- 
fornian ports were under the same disability of having 
to proceed direct to their ultimate destination, instead 
of picking up what they could at intermediate Ameri- 
can places. The Germans, again, though they professed 
not to have adopted the restrictive policy in regard to 
their Colonial trade, had found some pretext or other 
for refusing to admit Australian vessels to trade with 
the Marshall Islands, 1 though they could not justify 
their action. 

Canada, New Zealand, and Australia were unani- 
mous in supporting the policy agreed upon in 1902. Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier observed that Canada had repeatedly 
offered to reciprocate with the United States in respect 
of coastwise trading privileges, which affected the 
trade on the Great Lakes as well as on the Atlantic 
and Pacific coasts. But Mr. Lloyd George had to 
British state that the British Government could not see their 
ment way to concur. They had, he pointed out, already 
svve complied with the unanimous Resolution of 1902 to 
the extent of having, as thereby requested, taken 
into consideration the "advisability" of adopting a 
retaliatory policy, and they had come to the deliberate 

1 Between the Hawaiian and Philippine groups. 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 277 

conclusion that it was not advisable. His argument 
was again somewhat confused. One moment he was 
explaining that the participation of Russian and 
American vessels in the British coastal or Colonial 
trade was so small that the proposed retaliation would 
be ineffective. But at another moment he was object- 
ing that the effect of restricting the foreign tonnage 
employed in the carrying trade with the Colonies would 
be to raise the cost of carriage, to the detriment not 
only of British manufacturers and consumers but also 
of Australian producers, whose Argentine competitors 
would benefit by the diversion to that quarter of the 
foreign ships driven off the British routes. This in- 
creased competition on the neutral routes would, he 
argued, more than offset any advantage which British 
shipowners might derive from the reduced competition 
on the British routes. He would not consider on its 
merits the policy defined in the resolution ; arguing 
that what the Colonies must really intend was to 
exclude all competing vessels, regardless of whether 
the countries to which they belonged were reciprocat- 
ing or non-reciprocating (which surely was an absurd 
perversion of the proposal). 

Presently he sought a diversion in an attack on Australian 
Australian policy. Under the proposed legislation British*"" 
which had been discussed at the Navigation Con- 8 lps ' 
ference the British mail steamers would have to con- 
form to the same requirements as Australian steamers 
in order to qualify for participation in the coastwise 
trade, including the carriage of passengers and freight 
between e.g. Adelaide and Melbourne or Sydney. 
This was a lucrative traffic, and the British companies 
were kicking violently at the threatened legislation. 
Mr. Lloyd George stated that foreign ships were to be 
given a preference over British ships, and he asked 
that before talking about Imperial Preference the 



278 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Commonwealth should at least place British ships on 
an equality with the foreigner. But the Australian 
Premier, whose versatility of general knowledge l was 
a feature of this session, was hardly likely to be less 
well-informed than Mr. Lloyd George as to the inten- 
tion of the Commonwealth Government. Their aim 
would be, he said, to treat British shipping as leniently 
as would be compatible with maintaining the higher 
standard which they desired to establish in Australia, 
and to give British shipowners some advantage over 
their foreign competitors. 

According to Mr. Lloyd George, if the British 
liners could not qualify to engage in the Australian 
coasting trade at that end of their voyage, except at 
great expense in structural alterations, they would 
lose " scores of thousands of pounds," and be beaten 
by the Germans, who were pressing them very hard. 
Practically, therefore, as Dr. Jameson pointed out, he 
had gone to the extent of pleading for preference. 
Lioyd But the British Minister's argument was again some- 
inconws- what inconsistent, another of his points being that 
the coasting or intercolonial trade of the Dominions 
was not important enough to British shipowners to 
justify the Government in taking any vigorous mea- 
sures to secure fair play for the Colonial and British 
vessels engaged therein. The mere passage of the 
proposed resolution would, he apprehended, create 
confusion and unrest, inspiring foreign countries with 
hostility. Sir Wilfrid Laurier and others pointed out 
that the apprehension would have been equally well- 
founded in 1902, when the resolution was first passed, 
but that no such consequences had ever followed. It 
was, indeed, a difficult position for Mr. Lloyd George 
to defend. Though he could adduce treaty obstacles 

1 e.g. when he corrected Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Elgin in regard to 
the financial position of the Uganda Railway. (R., p. 370.) 



SUHSIDIARV < t >ri:STK)NS 279 

to a general policy of confining the inter-Imperial 
trade to British vessels, he had to admit that there 
was no such obstacle to prevent the reciprocal ex- 
clusion of the only two offending countries (the 
United States and Russia), which was all that was 
actually contemplated in the Resolution. Tempera- 
mentally, again, he was in sympathy with the Colonial 
attitude. To Sir Wilfrid Laurier's statement regard- 
ing the unfairness of the American system, he replied : 
" I agree ; if I were a Canadian I would hit them if I 
could." He seemed to think that the British Govern- 
ment might assent to the passage of a law restricting the 
Australia- New Zealand trade to Australasian or British 
vessels, so as to retaliate locally against the Americans, 
but never to penalise American vessels plying between 
other parts of the Empire, including Britain. This 
attitude was objectionable to the Canadian Premier : 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier If this is an Imperial Con- 
ference, as we believe it is, questions have to be 
looked into, not only from the point of view of the 
United Kingdom, but all its Possessions. It does not 
affect you, so far as the United Kingdom is concerned, 
but it affects us. We are part of the British Empire, 
and it seems to me, therefore, the question brought up 
justifies further inquiries, without alarming anybody." 
(R., p. 463.) 

In Mr. Lloyd George's view, any attempt at a British 

1 L V 1- A ^ Free Trade 

general retaliation against American or any other means 
shipping would "simply mean reprisals," in which impotence. 
Britain would inevitably be worsted owing to the vast 
preponderance of the shipping which she would have 
at stake. He did not, however, proceed to draw the 
obvious moral ; which is, once more, that these prob- 
lems of Imperial unity cannot be handled in water- 
tight compartments, but are mutually inseparable. 
The impotence which he depicted was only an aspect 






280 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

of the fiscal policy which had deprived Britain of a 
more powerful weapon than would be available to any 
other country in any kind of commercial warfare, such 
as this shipping controversy. Were Britain armed 
with an ordinary tariff policy, the Empire in concert 
could, as had been pointed out in the Preference 
debate, snap its fingers at any country or combina- 
tion of countries which proposed to attack it in any 
such manner. The British Government had admitted 
the justice of the Colonial grievance. But, wedded to 
Free Trade, they could only recommend that it should 
be taken lying down. 

Mr. Lloyd George suggested that the Resolution 
should be passed with the omission of the words 
" between the Mother Country and its Colonies and 
Possessions," so as to limit the contemplated retaliation 
to the area of intercolonial trade. But the Canadian, 
New Zealand, and Australian Premiers preferred to 
vote for the intact Resolution. Dr. Jameson and Mr. 
Moor, though not directly interested, and also Sir 
Robert Bond supported them. General Botha de- 
clined to vote either way. So the 1902 Resolution 
was reaffirmed, Britain dissenting. 

EMIGRA- The subject of emigration was allotted a few hours 

on the sixth day of the session. Australia had sent 
in a short resolution which was eventually adopted 
unchanged (No. IV. of 1907), favouring emigration to 
British rather than foreign countries, and co-operation 
on the part of the British Government with any 
Dominion desirous of attracting immigrants. By way 
of preface to the discussion Lord Elgin mentioned that 
a committee presided over by Lord Tennyson (formerly 
Governor of South Australia and afterwards of the 
Commonwealth) had lately considered the question, 
and in accordance with its conclusions he would like to 



TION. 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 

learn specifically from each Dominion " whether or not 
they are willing to accept State-aided emigration." ] 

Mr. Deakin at once pointed out the difficulty of Principle 
complying with this request, inasmuch as it would omy. 
bring them into conflict with a certain principle : 

" In touching upon this question, my first duty is 
to remove an apparent misapprehension. The question 
of immigration to us is the question of emigration to you. 
The question of emigration is as distinctly a British 
question as that of immigration is ours. To what ex- 
tent the Government and Parliament of Great Britain 
desire to foster emigration is for them to discuss and 
decide. I shall, therefore, look at immigration from 
our point of view, and not from the point of view of 
the Mother Country, because upon that the represen- 
tatives of the people of that country are necessarily 
themselves the judges." (R., p. 153.) 

The starting-point of the Australian resolution was, British 
he explained, the fact that emigration, assisted or un- 
assisted, was actually going on. Therefore, they urged 
that the British Government, so far as it acted at all, 
should so act as to encourage emigrants to settle within 
the Empire and passively discourage them from settling 
outside. The essential considerations were (1) that 
population in the Dominions was per head a much 
larger purchaser of British manufactures than popula- 
tion in any foreign country ; 2 (2) that none of the 
great Dominions was as yet " anything like effectively 
populated" ; (3) that effective population of them was 
necessary in order to guarantee the permanent control 
of these territories by the British race. But he did 
not wish to exclude other European races which as 
was shown by the example of Canada and South 

1 The Conference Papers (Cd. 3524) contain correspondence with the 
Colonial Governments in regard to Mr. Rider Haggard's scheme of coloni- 
sation (Cd. 2978 and 2979) and the Inter-departmental Committee's Report 
thereon. Supra, p. 192. 



282 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Africa, and even in Australia on a small scale were 
capable of amalgamating with the British stock in the 
evolution of a new national type. Some of the Colonies 
might not want immigrants, but most of them did, and 
were far more eager to obtain them from Britain than 
from elsewhere : 

" They blend with us in the working of our social 
and political institutions, they enter into our life in all 
its phases without any sense of separateness or strange- 
ness, and hence we are most eager to obtain them." 
(R., p. 156.) 

Emigrants Accordingly he had regretted to learn that the practice 
. of the Emigrants Information Office, the only official 
institution in Britain for dealing with emigration, was 
to give information " indiscriminately " as between 
British and foreign countries. All the Agents- General 
of the Australian States had expressed unfavourable 
opinions of the Office : 

" They think, at present, that no effective assistance 
is being given to them by this Board. They go so far 
as to doubt whether it is possible for it to be given by 
a Board constituted in this manner. They object even 
to the publications which it has submitted, and have 
felt this so strongly that they have undertaken publi- 
cations of their own at their own expense, which they 
consider far more likely to attract emigrants than those 
of the Emigration Board. 1 Speaking, as they do, as 
men of high standing who have the supervision on this 
side of whatever is being done by the States of the 
Commonwealth in respect to immigration, I regret to 
learn that their verdict is so unfavourable. They sug- 
gest that some Board, responsible directly to Parlia- 
ment, or responsible directly to a Minister, should be 
charged with this duty ; that they, or some of their 
representatives, should be associated with it in the 

1 But the function of the British Office was to guide emigrants rather than 
to promote emigration. 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 

most approved fashion, and that they should be con- 
sulted before statements are put forward which some- 
times they have found themselves obliged to challenge." 
(R., p. 156.) 

To illustrate the complaint he cited passages from e .g. 
an official circular issued by the Board in which they 
practically represented that work on the sugar planta- mdustr y 
tions in Queensland was unfit for white men. In reply 
to a private inquiry from Australia the chairman had 
actually written that the Board would feel it " their 
duty to warn" intending emigrants "against under- 
taking such work in the tropics." But the actual 
facts, which the circular did not communicate, were 
that the work on the sugar plantations was being 
done more and more by white men ; that the work in 
the crushing mills which the Board represented as 
the worst of all had always been done by white men ; 
that some of them were earning by piece-work as 
much as 20s. or even 30s. a day ; that few of the many 
who settled in the coastal sugar belt showed any dis- 
position to leave, though the cooler uplands were only 
a few miles away ; and that no deleterious results were 
apparent except such as arose from intemperance or 
from " over-indulgence in meat-eating, which is practi- 
cally universal in Australia." The fixed policy of the 
Commonwealth was "A White Australia," in accord- 
ance with which they were repatriating the Kanaka 
labourers and subsidising the use of white labour. 
That policy had been completely justified by economic 
results, the white men having proved capable of per- 
forming more and better work than any of the coloured 
races, and the industry was steadily expanding under 
the new conditions. The Australian Government felt 
aggrieved, therefore, that their policy should be ob- 
structed by these misleading statements. They did 
not ask for any misleading advertisement in the other 



284 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

direction, but they did ask for the whole truth to be 
stated and nothing but the truth. 

select Sir Joseph Ward rejoiced that New Zealand had 

Sand, no " coloured labour" question, but he heartily en- 
dorsed the Australian policy. He would deprecate 
any suggestion of State-aided emigration, fearing that 
it would mean the dumping of undesirables in New 
Zealand. The Colony was already assisting immi- 
grants if they were "of a suitable class and have some 
capital " ; and had tried with success the plan of 
allowing those already settled to " nominate " their 
own friends in Britain for assisted passages, relieving 
the State of further responsibility for them on their 
arrival. Being in the fortunate position of having had 
no unemployed "in the ordinary sense" for a number 
of years past, New Zealand would be reluctant to co- 
operate in any scheme for introducing a problematical 
class of settler in large numbers. 

Distracted The South African representatives pointed out that 
Africa, unhappily their country did not at present bear out 
Mr. Deakin's dictum that the Colonial aspect of the 
question was immigration, and the British aspect emi- 
gration. With them it was the other way about. The 
war had introduced a very large floating population, 
and had at the same time destroyed an enormous 
amount of capital in the country, with the result that 
they were shipping people back to England instead of 
bringing more in. But later on they hoped to have a 
policy of agricultural settlement, especially with the 
aid of irrigation schemes. They had been greatly 
struck by Mr. Deakin's remarks about the successful 
use of white labour under sub-tropical conditions. Dr. 
Jameson declared that such was not their experience- 
in South Africa you might pay a white man any fancy 
wage, contract or day labour, but he would continue 
to do only half the work of a black man at 3 a 



SCHSIDIAHV ( t n:sTlONS 

month. Mr. Moor, on the other hand, had been con- 
vinced by a visit to Australia that in his own country 
(Natal) l development had been retarded rather than 
advanced by the habit of relying on coloured labour : labour 

" Instead of using brains and capital to save labour 
we were piling on unskilled labour to do the work, 
regardless of cost, and perhaps in many instances the 
result of production with that unskilled labour was 
really more costly than the products of countries work- 
ing with labour skilled and properly organised. We 
find in many of our industries we are being beaten by 
products from Australia (which we can produce quite 
as well and in quite as large quantities) owing to our 
methods and wasteful means of carrying, on those 
industries." (R., p. 165.) 

Mr. John Burns, President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board, expressed the views of the British tion - 
Government. He assured the Conference that, in 
point of fact, it had for years been the aim of the 
Emigrants Information Office to encourage British 
immigrants to proceed to British rather than foreign 
countries. While defending the Queensland circular 
he said it was an exceptional case and would not be 
allowed to happen again. A stronger line of defence 
was that the proofs of all the literature were regularly 
sent beforehand for revision to the Agents -General 
of the Colonies concerned, and the Government of 
Queensland were so pleased with the last handbook 
that they had ordered 25,000 copies of it. In fact 
the style of the publications had been so improved 
that now " we almost vie with Canada both in the 
versatility and the excellence of our advice to emi- 
grants and settlers." He told them that already there 
were in Britain nearly 1000 agencies of one kind or 

1 The coastal sugar plantations of Natal and Queensland are in about the 
same latitude, the latter being somewhat nearer the Equator than the former, 
and the climate generally does not seem dissimilar. 



286 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

another, directly or indirectly engaged in promoting 
emigration, and of the people who passed through the 
hands of these agencies no less than 95 or 97 per cent, 
went to the Colonies. He quoted statistics showing 
how considerably the stream of British emigration 
had already been diverted from the United States to 
Canada. 

As to assisting emigration financially, one difficulty 
would be that the British Government could not help 
any one Colony " without more or less damnifying the 
others." They wanted above all " to be fair to all the 
Colonies " (the old excuse for doing nothing in regard 
likewise to Preference and Communications). But the 
" settled policy of Parliament " had been " not to vote 
State money for emigration." At the same time 
Boards of Guardians and Distress Committees (under 
the Unemployed Workmen Act of 1905 and subse- 
quent legislation) were spending considerable sums on 
that object. In 1906 the Distress Committees had 
sent out 3875 persons at a cost of 7 per head, and 
were going to continue operations on a larger scale. 
Commends In the last ten years Boards of Guardians had sent 
. out 3588 children, and Dr. Barnardo's agency 18,000. 
On his last visit to Canada he had been pleased to 
learn that 95 per cent, of these children were doing 
very well indeed. In 1906 no less than 19,000 
persons in Canada had applied for British boy and 
girl emigrants : 

" On that some of the gentlemen of this Conference 
might say : ' But what about their condition ? ' On 
that I think that this Conference ought to be assured of 
this fact, that the people who have charge of them here, 
whether they be guardians or private or public agencies, 
do everything within their power not only to see that 
the children are physically fit, but that they are trained 
and equipped for their new life, and I know no form of 



SUBSIDIARY gi'KSTIONS 

diversion of population that would be productive of so 
much good to the Colonies and to the Mother Country 
as an increase in the number of children going to the 
new settlements beyond the seas." (R., p. 172.) 

On the other hand, he deprecated the principle of Deprecate* 

..,,,. TIT community 

settlement by communities, holding that the better ettie- 

merits. 

plan was to spread the immigrants about the country. 
The Doukhobors in Canada were the only case he 
knew of a really successful community settlement. 
Mr. Deakin agreed, but said that if it were a question 
of settlement by communities or not getting sufficient 
immigration, Australia would not hesitate to take the 
risks of the inferior method. 

In conclusion, Mr. Burns announced that the re- 
organisation of the Emigration Board was already 
under the consideration of the Government, and he 
asked the Conference to remember the " cardinal 
fact" that the Old Country could not show a pre- 
ference to one Colony as against another. 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier said that Canada had no Contented 
grievance, and was quite content with her existing 
system of managing and financing her own immi- 
gration policy. " But," he hastened to add, " of 
course it goes without saying that if the Imperial 
Government were prepared to help and assist us 
financially we would be only too glad to co-operate 
with them." He invited Mr. Deakin to justify the 
last paragraph of his resolution by explaining pre- 
cisely what he wanted the British Government to do 
in the way of " co-operation." 

Mr. Deakin responded at once : ( 1 ) The Emigrants Three 
Information Office (otherwise known as the " Board ") co-opera- 
should be reorganised : 

" While departments are necessary agencies of 
governments, they are in my opinion in inevitable 
opposition, so to speak, to the re-adaptations and 



288 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

fresh adaptations called for by the circumstances of 
each case. . . . We think a more effective organisa- 
tion is wanted here under the direct control of the 
British Government or some of its Ministers, with 
that closer touch with the various representatives of 
all the Dominions which Mr. Burns has been good 
enough to foreshadow for us." (R., pp. 173-4.) 

(2) The shipping question came in : 

" Subsidies are now given to shipping which com- 
petes with British shipping both for passengers, cargo, 
and even emigrants. We have a line running to 
Australia to-day under the British flag, which is 
really in the main portion of its capital and interest, 
I understand, a foreign line of steamers. We think 
encouragement should be given to vessels not only 
flying the British flag, but actually British, so as to 
enable freights to be cheapened, and passenger rates 
to be lowered." (R., p. 174.) 

(3) The elementary schools could help : 

"We wish the British Government would also 
favour subsidiary educational means, such as have 
recently been proposed, seeing that the schools, and 
through the schools the children of the country, were 
brought into closer touch with the realities of life in 
the outer portions of the Empire ... in all the 
schools of the United Kingdom there should be suffi- 
cient teaching with regard to the Dependencies of the 
Empire, so that as the children grow up, if they wish 
to make the choice of a new home, they will have 
the knowledge necessary to make that choice." 
(R., p. 175.) 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier thought the resolution as 
worded was " too vague " in regard to methods of co- 
operation, but he welcomed Mr. Deakin's point about 
shipping. The Resolution was passed unanimously, 
being accepted by the British Government. 



SUBSIDIARY VTI.STIONS !!!) 

The Cape resolution regarding Cables was adopted 
without discussion, Mr. Buxton having signified the 
concurrence of the British Government by letter to 
Dr. Jameson before the session began. In a memor- 
andum by the Post Office it was pointed out that the 
system of " standard revenue " l which the Resolution 
approved was inconsistent with any policy of encour- 
aging competition in cables (as in the case of the 
Pacific cable). 

Wireless Telegraphy was not quite so easily dis- WIRELESS 
posed of. Some uneasiness seemed to be felt by inter- 
Australia and Canada regarding the International coimm- 
Conference of October 1906, at which the Dominions 1 " 
had not been represented, and which they seemed to 
fear might have been making arrangements prejudicial 
to their interests. Mr. Buxton reassured them. A 
five-years' convention had indeed been drafted, but 
the British Government had not yet formally ratified 
it. In any case, it would be open to any signatory 
to withdraw from the agreement on giving twelve 
months' notice. No standing body with any authority 
had been created ; only a merely clerical bureau (a 
harmless " secretariat," in fact). When the Wireless 
Conference reassembled, in 1911, the first matter to 
be decided would be the apportionment of votes 
among the countries represented. There were two 
precedents: (1) the International Telegraph Con- 
vention, where each State with a separate telegraph 
administration had a vote ; and (2) the Postal Union, 
where votes were allotted according to the relative 
importance of the several countries with their respec- 
tive Colonies, up to a maximum of six votes. Under 
this arrangement India, Canada, Australia, New 
Zealand, and South Africa each had a vote at meet- 
ings of the Postal Union ; but representatives of 

1 This was the system already adopted in South Africa. Of. vol. i. p. 256. 
VOL. II T 



290 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

other Colonies also could take part in, the discus- 
sion without voting. Mr. Buxton, supported by Sir 
Joseph Ward who had had considerable experience, 
thought that the Postal Union plan was the most 
advantageous for the British Empire, as under the 
other a lot of puny little States got votes. More- 
over, " moral strength " really counted for more than 
numerical strength. At the recent conference, for 
instance, the British representatives had succeeded in 
blocking an obnoxious proposal though they only had 
one vote. 

The practical question at issue was whether it 
would be best for the Empire to accept the principle 
of universal interchange of wireless facilities, or to 
take advantage of the British preponderance in 
shipping and Colonies to restrict communication be- 
tween British stations or vessels and foreigners. The 
British Government, after full consultation with the 
Admiralty, had come to the conclusion that both 
navally and commercially the fullest interchange 
would be the best plan, subject to certain exceptions 
and safeguards which the Admiralty deemed suffi- 
cient. The Australian Government were specially 
interested, since they were contemplating the erection 
of a chain of wireless stations around their coast, 
partly for strategical purposes, and they had been 
advised by some of those interested that the policy 
of exclusiveness would be the best. The upshot of 
the discussion was that before another Wireless con- 
ference took place the Dominions would be able 
severally to decide whether or not they wished to 
come in, with the right of subsequent withdrawal on 
twelve months' notice. 

COURT OF The advance resolution from Australia affirmed 
simply that it was " desirable to establish an Imperial 



SUBSIDIARY <,)ri:STIO\S 

Court of Appeal " ; while that from Cape Colony 
embodied a series of suggestions for improving the 
procedure of the Judicial Committee of the Privy 
Council. 

Constitutionally the position of the Judicial Com- Judicial 
mittee is analogous to that of the Cabinet, these of Prm- 
two bodies being each a separate committee of 
the Sovereign's Privy Councillors. Accordingly the 
Judicial Committee and the Cabinet have in com- 
mon the feature that their decisions must always 
be unanimous ; since the function of the Sovereign's 
Privy Council is to tender him definite advice, not 
to furnish him with pros and cons and leave him 
to decide. 1 The advice must be definite, for him to 
accept or reject. Hence the judgments of the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council are given forth as 
unanimous decisions ; whereas in the House of Lords, 
when it acts as a court of appeal, the majority prin- 
ciple is recognised. 

The following is a concise account of the in- 
stitution : 

" As regards all British possessions the appeal to 
the King in Council is in its origin and nature like 
that of the provincials unto Caesar, and flows from 
the royal prerogative to admit appeals. With the 
growth of the British Empire it has been found 
necessary to create a comparatively constant and 
stable tribunal to advise the King in the exercise 
of this prerogative. For this purpose the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council was created in 1833. 
In 1851, and again in 1870, it was reorganised, and 
by Acts of 1876, 1887, and 1898 it received its 
present form. The Committee consists of the Presi- 



1 But a different theory seems to underlie the practice, already noticed 
in certain Colonies, where the Governor asks each member of the Cabinet 
individually, beginning with the youngest, whether he thinks that the death 
sentence should be confirmed or remitted. (Vol. i. pp. 121-2.) 



292 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

dent of the Council, and of the following persons 
if Privy Councillors : the Lord Chancellor and ex- 
Chancellors of Great Britain and Ireland, the Lords 
Justices of Appeal in England or retired Lords 
Justices of Appeal in England, the four Lords of 
Appeal in Ordinary, and persons 1 who hold or have 
held the office (a) of Judge of the High Court of 
Justice or the Court of Appeal in England or Ireland, 
or the Court of Session in Scotland ; (b) any person 
who is or has been Chief Justice or a Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Canada, or of a superior court of 
any Province of Canada, or any of the Australian 
States (not Fiji or Papua), or of New Zealand, or 
of the Cape of Good Hope or Natal. The number 
of persons of this class who may be members at 
once is limited to five (1895, c. 44); (c) provision is 
also made for the payment of two Privy Councillors 
who have been Judges in India who attend the Privy 
Council. 

" Numerous as are the members of the Committee, 
the quorum is three. One or more of the Lords of 
Appeal in Ordinary usually attend at every hearing, 
but the composition of the Committee is very 
fluctuating. Appeals from the British Dominions 
abroad lie in criminal as well as civil matters. . . . 
The judgment of the Committee is in the form of a 
report and advice to the King, which is read by one 
of the members sitting, and no indication is given 
as to whether the members present are unanimous. 
Effect is given to the advice by Orders in Council 
dismissing or allowing the appeal, and giving direc- 
tions as to the payment of costs and as to the 
further proceedings to be taken in the Colonial 
Courts." (Encyclopaedia Britannica, under " Appeal") 

Existing The existing position was explained by the Lord 

two n Chancellor (Lord Loreburn) in the course of the 

finaf 8 ' discussion. There are two distinct courts of final 

appeal. appeal, the House of Lords and the Judicial Com- 

1 Certain selected ones, not all. 



srnsmiAUY ( 4 ri-:sTK>\< 

niittee of the Privy Council. The House of Lords 
hears appeals arising within the United Kingdom ; 
the Privy Council hears appeals arising in the self- 
governing Dominions, Crown Colonies, and India, 
though in a few matters, such as Patents, 1 its juris- 
diction embraces the United Kingdom also. All the 
persons entitled to sit judicially in the House of 
Lords are entitled to sit also in the Privy Council, 
and do sit there. In view, however, of the Imperial 
scope of the Privy Council's jurisdiction, and under 
pressure of Colonial representations, the personnel of 
the Privy Council had been extended, as already 
described. In 1907 the Judicial Committee included 
Sir Henri Tascherau (Canada), Sir Henry (now 
Baron) de Villiers (Cape Colony), and Sir Samuel 
Way (South Australia). The Lord President of 
the Privy Council delegates to the Lord Chancellor 
the duty of getting a court together as occasion 
demands. 

The mode of exercising the appeal has become Mode of 
difficult for laymen to comprehend, the practice 
appearing at first sight to conflict with the prin- 
ciple of Royal Prerogative. Theoretically it seems 
questionable whether the Sovereign can ever 
divest himself of his prerogative ; though he can 
entrust to others an authority to grant in his name 
leave to appeal, and to prescribe the conditions. 
In the exercise of this discretion the Sovereign, 
advised by the Cabinet committee of his Privy 
Council, has allowed various Colonial legislatures to 
prescribe the conditions under which litigants may 
appeal to the Privy Council from the local supreme 
courts. Where such authority has been exercised 
by the local legislatures there is a definite right to 
have the appeal heard by the Privy Council, in all 

1 R., p. 221. 



294 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

cases which fulfil the locally-prescribed conditions. 
In these instances, therefore, the appeal is said to 
(i) The be "as of right." The authority has been exercised 
oFnght. i>as by the legislatures of the former Colonies which have 
since become Provinces of the Dominion of Canada, 
or States of the Commonwealth of Australia, and 
still remains to those legislatures, since they did not 
surrender it at federation to the federal Parlia- 
ment. The same authority has been exercised by 
the federal Parliament in Canada, which has 
passed a Supreme Court Act prescribing the 
conditions under which appeals may be made to 
the Privy Council from judgments of the federal 
Supreme Court. It has not yet been exercised by 
the Commonwealth Parliament in Australia. But 
the Commonwealth Act itself, by clause 73, confers 
directly on the federal High Court, without requir- 
ing any authorisation by the federal Parliament, 
the power to grant litigants leave to appeal to the 
Privy Council against its own judgments in cases 
affecting the Constitution of the Commonwealth, and 
withdraws from the Privy Council the right to grant 
special leave in relation to such cases. 

(2) The In default of local arrangements giving the sub- 

* P by'spe- ject an absolute right to have his appeal heard, 
would-be appellants must resort to the more primitive 
and costly method of directly petitioning the Privy 
Council itself for leave to appeal. They may also take 
that course in cases where, though the local legislature 
has prescribed conditions and so created an absolute 
right for appellants to be heard, those conditions do 
not cover the particular case of the aggrieved litigant. 
This mode is known as that of appeal "by special 
leave," or by grace as distinguished from right. It 
should be borne in mind that the prescribing of con- 
ditions by a local legislature does not ' in any way 



SUBSIDIARY 

affect the prerogative right of the Sovereign to 
receive and consider direct petitions for leave to 
appeal to him. The prescribing of conditions locally 
is regarded as facilitating, not restricting, the use of 
the appeal. The citizen's right of appeal is restricted 
only when the Sovereign concedes to a local legislature 
the power of forbidding or curtailing the primitive 
mode of direct petition. 

A step in that direction was taken by the Common- 
wealth Act, which, by clause 74, confers on the federal 
Parliament the right of " limiting the matters in 
which such leave may be asked," provided that any 
Bills to that effect shall be reserved by the Governor- 
General for the Royal Assent. The power so con- 
ferred on the Parliament has not yet been exercised. 

The South Africans have gone further than the The South 

..... 

Australians. Their Supreme Court of Appeal is really 
supreme in South Africa, in the sense that there are 
no co-ordinate provincial courts of appeal, all the old 
ones having been superseded with the rest of the 
previous machinery by the national unification. By 
clause 106 of the South Africa Act, 1909, it is enacted 
that there shall be no appeal (i.e. "as of right ") from 
the Supreme Court, so that the South African Par- 
liament is not endowed with the power which the 
Australian Parliament presumably retains of making 
arrangements for an appeal "as of right " to the 
Privy Council. At the same time the other mode 
of appeal (i.e. by grace, or by special leave) was 
expressly safeguarded in the South Africa Act ; 
though it is also enacted, in the same language as 
that of the Commonwealth Act, that the Parliament 
may legislate so as to limit the matters in respect ot 
which special leave to appeal may be asked, subject 
to the Royal Assent being given to the Bill. 

So it has come about that the ordinary mode of 



296 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

appeal is one which at first sight appears to signify 
that the leave-granting authority is no longer the 
Sovereign but the local legislatures ; while the primi- 
tive mode of direct petition, which satisfies the 
popular conception of Royal Prerogative, is compara- 
tively infrequent. 

The ATM- Introducing his proposal, Mr. Deakin dealt with 
difficulty, the history of the question. The authors of the 
Australian federal constitution had intended that 
the federal High Court should be a final Court of 
Appeal, and the final interpreter of the Common- 
wealth Act in cases affecting the relations between 
the Commonwealth and its component States or 
between one State and another. They had accord- 
ingly wished to give the Court no power of allowing 
appeals to the Privy Council. But Mr. Chamberlain 
had objected to this restriction ; and the Australian 
delegates, in order to save the rest of their Bill, had 
agreed to a compromise under which the right of 
appeal from the State Courts in Australia would 
remain intact, while in constitutional cases the federal 
High Court would have the power of deciding for 
itself each time whether an appeal from its own 
judgment to the Privy Council should be allowed. 
The effect of this compromise had been as was fore- 
seen at the time by Mr. Haldane, Mr. Bryce, Lord 
Davey, Lord Russell, and other eminent authorities 
to set up a double jurisdiction, two co-ordinate courts 
of final appeal in regard to the interpretation of the 
Australian constitution, with a real risk of conflict 
between their respective decisions. One case affect- 
ing the Constitution of the Commonwealth might go 
direct from a State Court to the Privy Council, side- 
tracking the federal High Court ; while another 
raising the same point might be taken to the federal 
High Court, which might decide it differently and 



>rnsim.\KY gi i;>noNS 297 

refuse to allow an appeal to the Privy Council. A 
spicuous case concerning the liability of fedei.il 
officers to pay State income-tax had lately brought 
the dilHculty into prominence. 

Mr. Deakin explained that one of the reasons for 
the original policy of making the federal High Court 
the final arbiter of the Constitution was that the 
.hidicial Committee was not regarded as a strong 
enough tribunal ; or rather that the method of con- 
stituting it seemed to make it less efficient than the 
high standing of its personnel would suggest. For 
example, the income-tax case, involving a principle of 
vital importance to Australia, had been decided by 
a Court of only four members, two British and two 
Colonial, and the judgment had not carried conviction 
in Australia ; while soon afterwards a Court of eight 
had been assembled to hear a comparatively trivial 
case concerning land legislation in New South Wales. 
As a Court of Appeal the House of Lords, he declared, 
stood higher than the Judicial Committee in the 
estimation of Australian lawyers. They could not 
help thinking that the House of Lords had in practice, 
if not by statutory requirement, the first claim on the 
joint personnel of the two bodies. It seemed hardly 
likely that this joint personnel could " be divided into 
two Courts without one being less effective, or, what 
is almost the same, obtaining less confidence than the 
other." A more popular reason for the Australian 
preference for the House of Lords was that there the 
several Judges gave their individual reasons for the 
decision, or for their dissent if any of them dissented ; 
whereas the Judicial Committee's practice was to 
publish only a single judgment, not revealing whether 
or why any member had dissented. 

Mr. Chamberlain had proposed in 1900, by way Mr. cham- 
of inducing the Australian delegates to accept an 



Court 



298 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

amendment of their Bill, that the House of Lords and 
the Judicial Committee should be merged in a single 
Court of Final Appeal for the whole Empire, abolish- 
ing the differentiation between the United Kingdom 
and the rest. The proposal had been considered in 
the following year by what would nowadays be termed 
a " subsidiary " Conference, including representatives 
of the self-governing Dominions, India, and the Crown 
Colonies. In the result * a majority consisting of five 
had recommended that appeals should continue to lie 
to the Privy Council from the Colonies and India ; 
but that appointments from the self-governing Colonies 
should be made to the Judicial Committee, and that 
arrangements should be devised for securing a larger 
attendance of Lords of Appeal at its sittings. Mr. 
Deakin said he was " quite in the dark " as to how 
far those recommendations had been carried out. 
Three other members of the subsidiary Conference in 
1901, including the representatives of New Zealand 
and the Commonwealth, had signed the report subject 
to the understanding that they favoured the estab- 
lishment of a single Imperial Court of Final Appeal. 

Australian opinion had not, he declared, changed 
in the meantime. But if the proposal to merge the 
two Courts could not yet be accepted, Australia would 
desire permission to transfer all her own appeals from 
the Judicial Committee to the House of Lords. His 
general argument seemed to be that, given a tribunal 
in which the Australians could feel complete con- 
fidence, the federal High Court would be less inclined 
to assert its rights of finality, and the Commonwealth 
Parliament would be less likely to utilise the power it 
possessed (but so far had not exercised) of restricting 
generally the right of appeal to the Privy Council. . 

Apart from Australia no urgent desire was evinced 

1 Cd. 846, of 1901. 



SUnsiDIAUV VI T.STIONS 

li'i tin- proposed Imperial Court of Appeal, though 
Dr. Jameson and Sir Joseph Ward commended the of umpire, 
general idea of it. As matters stood, Dominions 
having peculiar legal systems e.g. South Africa with 
lu-r Roman-Dutch law, New Zealand with her com- 
plexities of Maori custom, Canada with her inheritance 
of law from France naturally preferred the Judicial 
Committee to the House of Lords, because the former 
t)ody included Colonial Judges while the latter did 
not. 

The three South African Premiers, having pre- The South 

i 111 i African 

viously consulted together, were more interested in scheme. 
a local scheme of their own. Without waiting for 
a political union of their Colonies, they wished to 
establish at once a single Supreme Court of Appeal 
for South Africa as a whole, so as to stay the con- 
fusion which was arising through the conflicting 
decisions of the Supreme Courts in the several and 
contiguous Colonies. But lest the new Supreme 
Court, when established, should be ignored by liti- 
L;-; 1 1 its who might prefer to carry their appeals direct 
from the local Courts to the Privy Council the 
South African Premiers proposed that all litigants 
should be compelled to take their appeals to the 
federal Supreme Court in the first instance, and that 
the decision of that Court should be final except 
perhaps in constitutional cases. There would still 
remain the individual citizen's right of petitioning 
the King for leave to appeal to His Majesty's Privy 
Council a right of citizenship and a royal pre- 
rogative which Dr. Jameson urged should always be 
safeguarded jealously but the expense of that pro- 
cedure might be relied upon to keep down the number 
of such appeals. If the Supreme Court itself were 
not empowered to grant leave to appeal, which was 
the ordinary and cheaper method of access to the 



300 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Privy Council, the main object would be accomplished. 
General Botha supported his Cape colleague, taking 
his stand upon the interests of the poorer classes of 
litigants, who could not afford to carry an appeal 
beyond the shores of South Africa. 
Canada Sir Wilfrid Laurier was quite content with the 

. status quo. The decisions of the Judicial Committee 
had "as a general rule given great satisfaction" in 
Canada. He recognised, however, the force of some 
of Mr. Deakin's criticism, especially in regard to the 
unsatisfactory manner of constituting the tribunal, 
which he thought should be revised. Though satisfied 
himself, he felt obliged to state that Canadian opinion 
was by no means unanimous as to the retention of 
the appeal. Some urged that the national parliament 
of a country was the only proper body to create the 
tribunal for interpreting its laws. Others argued 
that so long as Canada remained part of the Empire 
questions of Imperial interest must necessarily arise 
even in the lowest courts, and that the appeal should 
therefore be retained. One special complication 
though paralleled in Australia was that in Canada 
the federating Provinces had not parted with their 
judicial independence. Despite the existence of a 
federal Supreme Court, appeals might still go direct 
from the Provinces to the Privy Council. The Im- 
perial Conference, at which the Provinces were not 
represented, could scarcely presume to settle the 
matter over their heads. He himself was inclined 
to think that the mode of appeal by favour of the 
Prerogative had " perhaps passed the day of its 
utility " ; and that the several Parliaments, national 
or provincial as the case might be, should be allowed 
to regulate the use of the appeal as each might 
think fit. 

Unlike Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. Deakin, who 



SUBSIDIARY VM-STIONS :501 



\\.ic l.i \\vors by training, Sir Joseph Ward spoke, NW 
as he said, "entirely as a layman." According t 
his information a great defect in the process of 
the Judicial Committee was that the Judges were 
liable to overlook points of peculiar local law unless 
counsel happened to have called attention to them. 
He suggested, therefore, that in all cases from New 
Zealand one of her own Judges there would generally 
be one available on leave should sit with the Court, 
without necessarily taking part in the argument or 
decision, simply in order to keep the Judges posted 
on points of local law. He agreed, as did Sir Robert 
Bond in behalf of Newfoundland, that there was need 
of simplification and uniformity of procedure, so as to 
reduce delay and expense. 

Replying on the discussion Lord Loreburn at The 
once laid down the principle on which the British 
Government would take their stand. Having regard govern- 
to the great diversity of conditions and interests in ment- 
the various parts of the Empire, 

" all that can be done is to recognise and act un- 
reservedly upon the principle of autonomy, that each 
integral unit of His Majesty's dominions should govern 
itself in the matter of appeals ; that one should not 
necessarily be the same as any other, but each should 
govern itself." (K, p. 214.) 

He admitted the difficulty of manning the two courts, 
the House of Lords and the Judicial Committee, at 
one and the same time, without overworking the 
Judges, which would be very undesirable. But the 
practice was to " divide quite impartially " between 
them. The British appeals in the House of Lords 
were not, he protested, favoured at the expense of the 
Colonial appeals in the Privy Council. In the income- 
tax case cited by Mr. Deakin, though there were 



302 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

only four Judges they were a very first-rate selection. 
To assemble eight Judges was a very exceptional 
procedure, and had been adopted in the other case 
mentioned by Mr. Deakin on account only of the 
exceptional difficulty it happened to present. As 
opposed to the Continental theory, the British plan 
"all through our history" had been to limit rather 
than expand the number of Judges, while picking 
only the best. The great decisions which had " made 
history " in England had been given by quite a small 
number of Judges, but these had been of the best. 
imperial He proceeded to analyse the idea of a single 

Appeal Imperial Court of Appeal. There seemed to be three 
analysed, p^ggg o f j (1) The simple idea of associating 
Colonial Judges with the hearing of Colonial cases 
was admittedly sound and was being carried out. 
(2) Next, there was the idea that the judicial sittings 
of the Privy Council should be attended not merely 
on those special occasions but " normally and ordinarily 
for all purposes" by representatives drawn from all 
parts of the Empire. The difficulty, though " not an 
insurmountable" one, would be that it would make 
the Court very large. In theory at any rate, he 
could see no objection to Judges from Canada, India, 
and so on being associated with British Judges in 
the hearing of Australian appeals if Australia so 
desired. (3) Finally, there was the larger idea of 
fusing the House of Lords with the Judicial Com- 
mittee : 

interfer- " It is a mere question of jurisdiction, because the 

persons are the same substantially, with the addition 



Kingdom. O f ] ar g er numbers in the Privy Council. That is a 

proposal the effect of which would be to alter the 
tribunal to which English, Scotch, and Irish appeals 
have always gone English appeals from time imme- 
morial, and Scotch appeals since the Union in 1707, 



-ritsim.xuY (^TKSTIONS 303 



and Irish appeals since 1800. In the same way as 
the question of constituting a different tribunal for 
Australia could not be done without deliberation in 
Australia, so this could not be done here without 
being fully considered in the United Kingdom which 
it affects." (R., p. 217.) 

But, while recognising that the Australians were Privy 
" not altogether at ease " under the existing arrange- mieak. 
iiu-iits, he was sure that really "the Privy Council is 00 
in regard to Australian cases an Australian Court," 
and that his duty would be to try to satisfy them on 
that point. 

Turning to the complaints about delay and expense, 
with unnecessary complication and variety of pro- 
cedure, he pointed out that much of the trouble com- 
plained of arose in the Colonies themselves, where the 
preliminary stages of the business were to a large 
extent controlled by local regulation. Still, he was 
willing to accept the Cape suggestion that there 
should be a definite code of rules and regulations ; 
and so the Privy Council would undertake the heavy 
task of consolidation and amendment with a view to 
facilitating and expediting appeals. At the same 
time the recent conduct of its business had, he 
claimed, been almost a model of legal expedition, 
cases having been disposed of without delay and in 
rapid succession. In regard to the third part of the 
Cape resolution, advocating uniformity in rights of 
appeal, the Privy Council could not, he again de- 
clared, move in that direction without impinging on 
the liberty of each Colony to settle the question in 
its own way. For example, the minimum sum of 
money stipulated as qualifying a case for appeal to 
the Privy Council varied from 300 to 2000 in 
different parts of the Empire. To the Privy Council 
the proposed uniformity would appear to be a very 



304 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

desirable " luxury," but only the Premiers themselves 
could bestow it. 

Some discussion ensued as to what would be the 

autonomy, constitutional manner of limiting the right of appeal 
should any Dominion wish to do so. Would the 
Dominion have to obtain an Imperial Order in 
Council, or legislation at Westminster? The Lord 
Chancellor's "first impression" to which he would 
not tie himself was that the Parliament of a self- 
governing Colony, provided it could obtain the Koyal 
assent to its legislation, could regulate the right of 
appeal as well as any other matter. 

Acompro- Dr. Jameson, still anxious to support Mr. Deakin, 

datum, suggested that the Australian resolution might be 
accepted with a qualifying phrase to indicate that the 
Imperial Court of Appeal was an "aspiration." But 
the Lord Chancellor objected that the people of the 
United Kingdom would be " rather surprised and 
startled." The idea of having a single Court of 
Appeal for the whole Empire was to them, he argued, 
"a new subject altogether" (which surely in fact it 
was not, since Mr. Chamberlain had caused it to be 
well ventilated). Sir Wilfrid Laurier supported the 
Lord Chancellor, remarking that if the Privy Council 
were "reconstructed" it would practically be the Court 
desired, the mere name being of no importance. As to 
the South African scheme, that was in his view hardly 
a matter for the Conference so much as for the South 
African Colonies themselves ; but there was nothing 
in it to which exception could be taken. By way of 
compromise the Conference accepted the chairman's 
suggestion that the Australian resolution should be 
recorded, and the Cape resolution passed in a form 
indicating how the subject had been dealt with. 

Machinery Practical Imperialists may again feel some sym- 

p'rimaTy pathy with Sir Wilfrid Laurier's disposition to mini- 
need. 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS 

mise the importance of trying to improve the judicial 
or political machinery of Imperial union. There is 
something anomalous, and a deterring sense of futility 
only to be overcome by strong faith in devoting 
lime and energy to such embellishments of the Im- 
perial structure before the economic foundations have 
been well and truly laid. The only excuse for it is 
that the processes of State-making are seldom con- 
ducted in any logical order, particularly under demo- 
cratic government. As the Australian delegates could 
not help reminding Mr. Chamberlain in 1900, "No 
patriotism was ever inspired or sustained by the 
thought of the Privy Council." Such institutions can 
never be expected to mould the instinct of the ordi- 
nary British subject throughout the Empire, pre- 
occupied as he is with his material and daily interests. 
Unless based on Imperial Reciprocity the stately 
structure is real only to lawyers, and is doomed to 
inevitable collapse it may be by sudden catastrophe, 
or it may be by a hardly perceptible progress of dis- 
integration and subsidence. 

Voluminous documents on the subject of Naturali- 
sation, including correspondence conducted during the 
recess, appear among the Conference papers. New 
Zealand and Cape Colony had sent in resolutions 
aiming at some measure of uniformity throughout 
the Empire ; the ideal being, of course, that a British 
citizen in any one part of the Empire should be 
equally a British citizen in any other part. Though 
the ideal was and is very far from being attained, 
some advance might be made towards it. Mr. 
Herbert (afterwards Viscount) Gladstone, Home 
Secretary, explained the position which had been 
reached. A draft Bill had been prepared for the 
Conference to consider before it went to the British 

VOL. II U 



306 

Draft Bin Parliament, with the object of removing at any rate 
two flag- two flagrant anomalies : 

rant 

" First of all, as the law now stands, a certificate 
of naturalisation can only be granted in the United 
Kingdom excepting in the case of a person in the 
service of the Crown to a person who has resided, 
and intends to reside, in the United Kingdom. If he 
intends to go to the Colonies, however closely associ- 
ated he may be with British interests and British life 
generally, he cannot be naturalised. Therefore it- 
comes to this, that a wish on the part of this person 
to go to the Colonies in itself becomes a disqualifica- 
tion. Conversely, if a man in the Colonies is identified 
with Colonial interests, even if he is naturalised in 
that Colony, he cannot qualify if he comes to the 
Mother Country until he has resided here for five 
years. So that his Colonial connection is again a 
disqualification for a period of five years during which 
he cannot become a British subject. Our view is that 
these anomalies are totally opposed to the principle of 
unity and solidarity within the Empire with regard 
to this matter." (K, p. 179.) 

Accordingly in the draft Bill it was proposed to 
substitute five years' residence in " any part of His 
Majesty's Dominions" for residence in the United 
Kingdom as the necessary qualification. A second 
"leading anomaly" was "the fact that a certificate 
of naturalisation granted in a Colony takes effect only 
in that Colony " ; and this, generally speaking, was the 
case in the Crown Colonies also. The proposal for 
remedying it was by a provision in the draft Bill to 
the effect that where the conditions of naturalisation 
in a Colony were substantially the same as those 
required in the United Kingdom, an Order in Council 
would suffice to render certificates given in that 
Colony valid throughout the Empire. Thus every- 
thing would depend on the standard set by the law 



SUBSIDIARY (,)ri-:sTK)N- ,'307 

of the United Kingdom. In regard to that, some 
misapprehensions existed. Some of the Dominions 
f'tvired that two classes of persons, (a) "undesirables," 
and (/>) " persons of non -European descent," might be 
able sometimes to get themselves naturalised in Britain 
and afterwards claim recognition in Dominions which 
did not want them. These objections had been 
raised by the Cape Attorney-General before the 
p.-issage of the Aliens Act of 1905 in Britain, which 
Mr. Gladstone argued had materially weakened their 
force. He protested against the imputation that 
the present administration of the Aliens Act was The 
unduly lax. 1 On the contrary, "under that Act we Aliens Act. 
have got rid of a large number of extremely dan- 
gerous and unsatisfactory persons." Nor was the 
granting of naturalisation papers a mere formality. 
Every applicant had, Mr. Gladstone explained, to 
give four references as to character and one as to 
residence ; minute inquiries were made as to his ante- 
cedents and intentions ; he must be able to read and 
write English ; and he must pay a fee of 5. As far 
as was officially known, no criminal had been natura- 
lised in Britain. Still, the Government would not 
mind putting into the Bill a clause disqualifying 
" certain classes of criminal undesirables." As to 
the other objection, he pointed out that Natal, where 
non-Europeans were by law excluded from naturalisa- 
tion, nevertheless had felt able to accept the United 
Kingdom's certificates as valid. He welcomed the 

1 The following is, however, the text of an instruction issued by Mr. 
Gladstone to Immigration officers: "In all cases in which immigrants, 
coming from the parts of the Continent which are at present in a disturbed 
condition, atteye that they are flying from religious or political persecution, 
the benefit of the doubt, where any doubt exists, as to the truth of the allega- 
tinn will be allowed, and leave to land will be yiven." (Cd. 2879 of 190(5, 
without the italics.) More recently, the scandalous murders of policemen in 
Houndsditch have given rise to a widespread belief that the administration 
of the Aliens Law has been unduly lax, and to an agitation for more stringent 
restrictions. 



308 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

promise to establish a Secretariat, as a means to 
further ascertaining the views of the Dominions on 
this subject (not realising that the Secretariat was 
only a new name for an old part of the Colonial 
Office), and he offered a resolution proposing that a 
Subsidiary Conference should be held on the question. 
Canada's The discussion was adjourned in order that mem- 

advance. bers might attempt to digest the papers which had 
been thrust upon them, together with Mr. Gladstone's 
proposals. On resuming, Mr. Brodeur explained that 
in Canada they had lately gone some way in the 
direction indicated by the British Minister. They 
had passed a law under which persons already natural- 
ised in the United Kingdom or any British Colony 
might, on coming to reside in Canada, receive their 
certificate without waiting the three years which 
was otherwise required. But referring to the draft 
Imperial law, he thought that each Colonial Govern- 
ment should retain the right of deciding for itself 
whether certificates granted in other parts of the 
Empire should be recognised. 

Mr. Deakin remarked that in Australia there were 
no serious difficulties in this matter, except in regard 
to the admission of coloured races, especially coloured 
aliens. He presumed, however, that the scope of their 
immigration law would not be impaired by the pro- 
posed Imperial law. 

s. Africa's General Botha handed in a long memorandum, 
swns 6 e which was read to the Conference, explaining the 
special difficulties in South Africa, which were of the 
kind previously indicated by the Cape Government. 
The South African suggestion was that the proposed 
British law should not apply to any Colony unless and 
until its own Government adopted it, or any selected 
portion of it, by Order in Council ; that Colonial cer- 
tificates should be valid beyond the borders of the 



SUHSI1HAKY vrr.STIONS 309 



Colony only when held by persons of European descent 
(so as to avoid the risk of an influx of naturalised 
coloured persons from Crown Colonies) ; and that a 
person born in His Majesty's Dominions should not be 
considered a natural-born British subject if the father 
were an indentured labourer of non-European descent. 

Sir Joseph Ward, insisting that New Zealand in- shared b y 
tended to remain a white man's country, feared that Zealand. 
the proposed Imperial law might open the door to 
an influx of coloured subjects naturalised in Britain. 
Apparently he did not share Mr. Deakin's assumption, 
nor was he reassured by Mr. Gladstone's suggestion, 
that the immigration law of the Colony would be a 
suth'cient safeguard. He seemed to think that the 
Imperial Naturalisation Law might conflict with and 
override the Colony's immigration law. 

Mr. Gladstone spoke rather impatiently of the Gladstone 
criticism, much of which he thought had really been m 
met by the terms of the revised draft Bill. The 
argument that no law should be imposed on a Colony 
except through the action of its own Parliament 
seemed to him to cut away the ground from under 
the proposed Imperial legislation, and to render the 
discussion a waste of time. (It is not clear, however, 
that the compromise of leaving the Dominions to 
adopt a British Act expressly devised to meet their 
several needs would not be a practicable path for 
substantial advance.) In the end Mr. Gladstone's 
Resolution was unanimously accepted. 

Double Income-Tax was discussed at the Treasury, DOOBLB 
where the Australasian and South African represen- TAX. 
tatives met the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. 
Asquith) and the permanent officials. Dr. Jameson 
had already held interviews with Mr. Asquith and 
had been met with a blank non posswnms. In re- 



310 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

opening the question on behalf of the group of Govern- 
ments now represented he was backed by General 
Botha, who concurred in his statement. Dr. Jameson 
took the case of the De Beers Company, with their 
huge diamond mines at Kimberley, as one of great im- 
portance in itself and as typical of the general position. 
Though carrying on its operations in South Africa, 
the Company had its headquarters in London. In 
the eye of the law it was " resident " or " domiciled " 
there, as Mr. Asquith expressed it. This circumstance 
rendered it liable to pay the British income-tax, which 
was deducted in bulk from the profits before the divi- 
dends were distributed to the shareholders. Share- 
holders in South Africa would thus receive a dividend 
minus British income-tax ; and if (as in Cape Colony) 
there were a local income-tax in force, this would be 
levied on the residue, so that the same income would 
be taxed twice over, paying at both ends. The 
Colonial proposal was that income should only be 
taxed once, and that the proceeds should go to the 
Government of the country in which the income was 
earned. In all the Colonies where an income-tax was 
in force it was levied on income " earned " within the 
country. But in Britain it was levied on income 
"received " within the country, regardless of whether 
it had been earned there or elsewhere. Dr. Jameson 
submitted that the Colonial principle was much more 
equitable than the British. 

The Company, Dr. Jameson hinted, was not 
wholly powerless to protect its shareholders and itself. 
One suggestion was that it should transfer its head 
office to Kimberley, and thus save 200,000 a year. 1 
In that event the British Treasury would be put to 
the bother of having to coUect the income-tax from 
the British shareholders individually, and altogether 
would lose a good deal of money. He himself would 

1 R., p. 188. 



SUBSIDIARY <UT.STH)N> 

welcome the transfer, because then the Cape Govern- 
ment would feel no hesitation in exacting a larger 
contribution from the Company towards the expenses 
of the country it was exploiting. The position of 
many of the gold-mining companies in the Transvaal 
and Rhodesia was analogous to that of De Beers. 

Mr. Asquith argued that it was open to any 
company to alter its arrangements, but so long as it 
found it profitable to keep its headquarters in London 
it must expect to pay taxes levied under the laws 
which in other respects it found so advantageous. 
The British Treasury could not afford to lose the 
money. They were quite impartial, drawing no 
invidious distinction against the Colonies. South 
American railways, many of which had their head- 
quarters in London, were subjected to precisely the 
s.'ime treatment. The British system of income-tax 
could not recognise individual shareholders. It dealt 
exclusively with the " artificial person," the corpora- 
tion, in the case of all joint-stock companies. 

Dr. Jameson could not help remarking that here 
again "that awful word Preference" seemed to be 
looming up. And when Mr. Asquith argued that 
to recognise the distinction between income " earned " 
and " received" in the country would upset the whole 
system, Mr. Deakin inquired whether it were not 
true that the British Government were about to 
differentiate between "earned" and "unearned" 
incomes, which seemed to be at least as formidable 
a complication as the other. To Mr. Asquith 's remark 
that by exempting income earned outside the country 
they would be letting off foreign as well as Colonial 
taxpayers, Dr. Jameson replied by reminding him 
that in the official view of the British Government 
this was not a legitimate differentiation to make. 1 

1 Cf. p. 265. 



312 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

But probably Mr. Asquith's inability to accept the 
principle of differentiating between foreigners and 
British subjects was not the only difficulty in the 
way of accepting the Colonial proposal. A Unionist 
Government might have proved just as obdurate, as 
indeed had happened on previous occasions. Behind 
all the technical objections put forward in excuse there 
lay the feeling, not easy to explain to the Colonial 
representatives, that the Colonies were not paying 
their fair share of Imperial expenses, and that the 
British Government ought therefore to extract all it 
could by such devices as income-tax laid on the 
net profits of " resident " companies working abroad, 
and stamp charges on the issue of stocks and bonds 
from the financial centre of the Empire. The Colonial 
Stocks Act of 1901 was in effect a concession (recog- 
nising the principle of Preference) of probably much 
greater financial value than the proposed reforms in 
regard to income-tax and stamp charges on securities, 
for which in the British view the case was now 
weaker than before the passage of that Act. That 
was put forward by Mr. Asquith 1 in justification 
of his refusal to reconsider the old question of stamp 
charges on Colonial bonds, which had again been 
brought up. 

Another aspect of the grievance was the result of 
misapprehension. In New Zealand and elsewhere the 
impression seemed to prevail that the same share- 
holders were taxed twice over by the British Treasury, 
which first taxed the company and then the indi- 
vidual shareholders. But, in reality, as the officials 
explained, where income-tax had been levied on the 
company the shareholders received their dividends 
tax free, and were not mulcted again. 
PROFIT ON Australia preferred a claim to receive the profits 

COINAGE. 

1 R., p. 195. 



SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS -I ) 

on the silver coinage employed there. There was 
already a branch of the Royal Mint at Melbourne for 
striking the sovereigns and half-sovereigns ; but the 
silver coins were still struck in Britain, and the 
Commonwealth did not see why it should not receive 
;my profit there might be on the manufacture. After 
some difficulty Mr. Deakin elicited from the officials 
an estimate that the profit amounted to 40,000 
a year. Canada was already receiving the corre- 
sponding profit, but her case was simplified by the 
circumstance that she used a distinct, " subsidiary " 
coinage easily distinguished from that circulating in 
and between other parts of the Empire. Mr. Asquith 
expressed the willingness of the Government to 
arrange for the silver coins to be struck in Australia 
if the Commonwealth so desired, and to consider the 
possibility of crediting the profit on the amount of 
coinage locally employed to other Colonies, such as 
South Africa and New Zealand, which used the British 
currency but not on a large enough scale to justify 
the establishment of local mints. Canada was arrang- 
ing to have a local mint, like Australia. 

Decimal currency is one of those obviously desir- DECIMAL 
able reforms which are indefinitely postponed because, TIONS. 
as the late Lord Salisbury might have said, " it 
involves exertion on the part of somebody "- in this 
instance the Treasury in particular. A memorandum l 
had been prepared for the Conference by that depart- 
ment, in which the history of successive inquiries was 
reviewed and the old objections were reiterated, in- 
cluding the argument that the confusion of the tran- 
sition would entail great hardship on the poor. A 
memorandum 2 by the Board of Trade in regard to the 
metric system had also been circulated. Mr. Asquith 
availed himself of this opportunity despite Mr. 

1 P., p. 173. * P., p. 176. 



314 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Deakin's protests to treat decimal currency and the 
metric system as inseparable parts of one problem, 
though the position in the United States seems to 
demonstrate the fallacy of that. Having got the 
two things mixed the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
knocked them both out together by declaring that for 
the textile trades the adoption of the metric system 
would alter all their standards and involve scrapping 
much of their machinery. He concluded that Britain 
could not afford to move ; and the Dominion repre- 
sentatives agreed that separate action on their part 
would not be worth while. So the two subjects 
dropped together. In the engineering trade, how- 
ever, metric standards are already used to a consider- 
able extent. 

TRADE Mr. Lloyd George's resolution regarding uniformity 

Tics" 3 in trade statistics was passed offhand. A memor- 
andum l prepared by the Board of Trade had been 
circulated. "There," observed Mr. Moor, "is some 
work for your Secretariat." In this matter a difficulty 
seems to be that the Board of Trade wants the 
Dominions to adopt the British classifications, which 
are held by some authorities to be inferior to the 
classifications employed in certain of the Dominions. 
The twin resolution, advocating greater uniformity 
in company law, was put through with equal de- 
spatch, a similar memorandum 2 having been cir- 
culated. 

PATENTS. Uniformity of Patent Law, or Mutual Protection 
of Patents, was the subject of advance resolutions 
from Australia and Cape Colony. An apparently 
exhaustive memorandum 3 with a note on recent 
changes was submitted by the British Patent Office. 
The ideal, specified in the Australian resolution, 
would be that a patent granted in any one part of 

1 P., p. 521. * P., p. 527. a P., pp. 501-20. 



SU1ISIDIAHV VII.STIONS 

the Kmpire should be valid throughout. Mr. Deakin 
was well aware that the ideal was not immediately 
:itl:iiii:il>le. One formidable difficulty was how to 
safeguard the principle of "prior registration" in 
llu- case of countries so widely scattered, when two 
different persons in different parts might be trying 
to patent the same idea at the same time. The 
practical question resolved itself, said Mr. Deakin, 
into " how far our Patent systems can be assimi- 
lated so as to be easily mutually comprehensible and 
available." 

Mr. Lloyd George welcomed the opportunity. He 
was highly pleased with the Patent Bill which 
(without having waited for the Conference) he had 
lately introduced at Westminster. It adopted, he 
explained, for the first time the principle of the com- 
pulsory working of foreign patents, which he would 
" very much like to see extended throughout the 
Kmpire." With Mr. Deakin's entire concurrence he 
suggested that to collate the various laws of the 
Empire would be "a very good work for the new 
Secretariat to take up." Lord Elgin had already 
suggested that the subject would be appropriate for 
a Subsidiary Conference. A less ambitious resolu- 
tion than the original was drafted by Mr. Lloyd 
George and accepted by the Conference .as soon as, at 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier's request, he had taken out the 
word "Colonies" and substituted "Dominions." 

Mr. Lloyd George had prepared a new resolution COPY- 
regarding mutual copyright arrangements, which he 
was anxious to introduce. "It is very unfair," un- Lioyd 
guardedly remarked the official opponent of Pre- demands 
ference, " that our authors should be treated in a p re fer- 
British Dominion exactly as they would be treated ei 
in a foreign country." Dr. Smartt supported him ; 
but most of the other members thought the subject 



TERS. 



316 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

was too technical to admit of profitable discussion. 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier urged that it should be left alone 
for the present. He himself was helpless without 
the Canadian Minister of Agriculture, "who, strange 
to say, has this matter in his hands." Besides, he 
added, "we cannot attempt to reform everything 
at this Conference ; leave something for the next 
Conference." So the subject was dropped. 
RECI- Vested interests reappeared when Sir Joseph Ward 

ISTO TY introduced his resolution advocating reciprocal ad- 
mission of barristers. He thought the balance of 
advantage would really be on the side of Britain, since 
many British barristers came out to New Zealand, 
which offered an easier field for those who could 
not fight their way to the top at Home. The ob- 
jection that in New Zealand women were admitted 
to the profession seemed to him to be an unreasoning 
prejudice, but he was quite willing that the pro- 
posed reciprocity should be limited to males. He 
recognised that the Colonial standards of qualifica- 
tion for admission to the profession would have to 
be made fully equal to the British. 

Sir William (afterwards Lord) Robson, the British 
Attorney- General, seemed rather to argue round 
the question. If the qualification in the Colonies 
were less exacting than in Britain there might be 
an unfair "Colonial avenue" of admission to the 
English Bar. Another difficulty was that the pro- 
fessions of solicitor and barrister were combined in 
New Zealand and some other Colonies. More obvi- 
ously to the point was the circumstance that in 
Canada the legal profession was a Provincial in- 
terest, and in Australia a State interest, so that 
their federal representatives at the Conference felt 
unable to deal with the New Zealand proposal. 
But Sir William Robson, who explained that he 



spoke for the Bar as well as for the British Govern- 
ment, indicated one very practical difficulty : 

"You may depend upon it that although the 
English Parliament has, perhaps, a higher and more 

oluto power over Englishmen than any governing 
body has over any State, still there sire unseen but un- 
mistakable limitations to which Parliament is subject, 
and when it comes up against a profession like the 
English Bar, it is very apt to discover that its limi- 
tations are somewhat substantial. . . . The English 
Bar is extraordinarily well represented." (R., p. 499.) 

A plausible excuse for refusing any extensive kind NO united 
of reciprocity was that Irish and Scottish barristers nor United 
were as much aliens as the New Zealanders them- 
selves in the eyes of the English Bar. Mr. Deakin, 
speaking only as a barrister 1 and obviously anxious 
to help Sir Joseph Ward, remarked on the anomaly of 
a man being King's Counsel, perhaps even Attorney- 
General, in a Dominion and then coming to England 
to find that here the King was somehow a different 
King who did not recognise him. Sir William Bobson 
replied that the creation of a K.C. was entirely a 
matter within the personal discretion of the Lord 
Chancellor, who could be relied upon not to show 
any prejudice against Colonials. 

Sir Joseph Ward was unwilling to let the matter 
drop. Some of the "best men" in New Zealand had 
urged him to bring it forward. By way of compromise 
he made an attempt to incorporate, in substitution for 
the original text of his motion, the second of the follow- 
ing recommendations which had been made by a com- 
mittee of the four Inns of Court and communicated by 
letter to the Conference : 



1 R., P. soe. 






318 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

"(1) That any proposal to give to barristers in 
any colony or dependency a right to be called to the 
English Bar while still retaining the right to practise 
as solicitors in such colony or dependency ought to be 
opposed. 

" (2) That provided it is satisfactorily established 
that the qualifications for admission as a barrister in 
any colony are equivalent to those in this country, 
any proposal for facilitating the call to the English 
Bar of any barristers in any colony or dependency 
upon terms analogous to those upon which English 
solicitors may for the time being be entitled to be 
called to the Bar should be favourably considered." 
(P., p. 591.) 

It was agreed that the resolution in its amended 
form should be placed on record " as a suggestion," as 
Sir Joseph Ward said. 

A similar resolution had again been submitted by 
AS TO the New Zealand Premier (following Mr. Seddon's 
VEYOK3. DU action in 1902), in favour of a like reciprocity in the 
case of Land Surveyors. Here the obstruction of 
vested interests was not so formidable, and again the 
essential thing was uniformity of qualifications. The 
Cape representatives were rather doubtful, believing 
that in their country the standard of qualification was 
exceptionally high. As in the case of the barrister 
Conference proposition, the Australian and Canadian representa- 
< advisory tives felt themselves debarred from interfering in a 
matter falling within the jurisdiction of the local 
Governments rather than their own. Mr. Deakin's 
remark, " We representatives of Federal Governments 
cannot take any official part," illustrates bow far the 
Conference was from regarding itself as an "advisory" 
rather than an executive body. The Surveyors' Insti- 
tution of Britain had sent in a memorandum depre- 
cating the necessity of fresh examinations for men 
already qualified when they moved to another part of 



H nsim \KY < t >n:sTi<>\< 



the Empire, and suggesting a plan of reciprocity. A 
resolution was now passed by the Conference com- 

1 / 

mending this memorandum to the favourable con- 
sideration of the several Governments : 

" Mr. Brodeur Would that include both the Federal 
and the Provincial Governments ? 

"Chairman Yes, they are the examining authority. 

"Sir Wilfrid Laurier That is a pious wish, and 
nothing else." (R., p. 506.) 

Sir Joseph Ward, who has been among the most 
zealous pioneers of cheap postage and telegraphy, had POSTAGE. 
brought a resolution advocating Universal Penny 
Postage, the relevancy of which to the interests of 
the Imperial Conference was not quite apparent. 
Indeed, the British Postmaster-General, Mr. Buxton, 
fell back on the principle of Preference as a sufficient 
reason for not hurrying to commit the country to 
risking 450,000 of revenue for the sake of foreign 
intercourse. Imperial Penny Postage had only been 
in operation for a short time, and was not yet general 
throughout the Empire. He suggested, therefore, 
that they might wait a little longer to judge its effect 
in stimulating correspondence before proceeding to 
the larger measure. He took the opportunity to men- 
tion that the Imperial Postal Order had now been 
accepted by all the Colonies excepting Canada and 
Australia, and that he was trying to arrange a system 
of cash-on-delivery for facilitating small purchases as 
between Britain and other parts of the Empire. 

Mr. Deakin regretted Australia's delay in adopting 
Imperial Penny Postage, but pleaded the difficulty of 
reducing the internal rate to a penny, which the other 
reform would necessitate. " There are places in which 
it costs us several shillings for the delivery of every 
letter." He agreed that until penny postage was 



320 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

universal within the Empire it would be a " little 
previous " to think about making it universal outside. 
Sir Joseph Ward, however, was convinced that if 
the Commonwealth would adopt the penny rate the 
financial results would be as encouraging there as 
they had been in Canada and New Zealand. The 
Conference adopted a modified form of his resolution. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND THE 
ALL-RED ROUTE 

" Please understand that if this resolution of mine were rejected by 
every individual member of the Conference I should deplore our diver- 
gencies, but it would not in any way depress me. I should take the 
benefit of all the criticism, not regretting that I had brought the matter 
forward. My faith is that it is better to make a mistake attempting to 
frame a practical proposal than to do nothing at all. If this was a 
mistake, and I am satisfied it was not, I have at least succeeded in bring- 
ing the question right home. We are not here to score verbal victories 
by carrying resolutions, or to feel defeated if we do not carry them, but 
we are here to make some advance by the frank discussion of these Im- 
perial possibilities. I am obliged to the Minister for getting beyond the 
accidents of my proposal to its essence at the close." (Mr. DEAKIN, 
vrinding tip the discussion on his proposal to create a Development Fund and 
Development Commissioners for the British Empire. R. t p. 529.) 

MR. DEAKIN was determined to leave no stone un- 
turned in the effort to induce the British Govern- of t 
ment to approach the question of closer union in a 
more liberal spirit. Since British Ministers had pro- 
tested their anxiety to find some plan of co-operation 
for developing trade within the Empire by methods 
other than Preference, he at once proposed that the 
Conference should reconsider in this connection the 
plan suggested by Mr. Hofmeyr at the session of 
1887. 

Mr. Hofmeyr had suggested it as a means 
primarily of financing naval defence ; but the same 
fiscal expedient had subsequently been mooted by Sir 
George Sydenham Clarke l in connection with other 
schemes of joint Imperial enterprise. The expedient 

1 Nineteenth Century, May 1904. 

VOL. n x 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

was the levying of a uniform surtax say at the rate 
of 1 per cent. on all foreign imports by each Govern- 
ment of the Empire, over and above any pre-existing 
tariff. But if the British Government could not see 
their way even to levying a purely revenue duty of 
only 1 per cent, on foreign imports for an Imperial 
purpose, they would be at perfect liberty, Mr. Deakiu 
postulated, to contribute their "quota" by direct 
taxation, simply making a grant to the Imperial 
Development Fund of an amount equivalent to what 
the duty would have yielded. Thus the Dominions 
and Britain would each be able to follow out their 
respective ideas as to the best fiscal expedient for 
financing joint enterprises. The main thing was the 
principle of having a joint fund ; not the precise 
manner of raising the money : 

" I want to put the fiscal question right out of 
consideration in this connection, and want to recognise 
the difference in the situation of the Mother Country ; 
but if you are going to undertake Imperial purposes 
it must be done more or less by expenditure of what 
may be called Imperial funds." (R., p. 352.) 

Laurier's Sir Wilfrid Laurier objected at once. In Canada 
objection, they had just finished revising their tariff, and this 
additional 1 per cent, would upset the whole thing. 
He appealed to the Australian Minister of Trade and 
Customs to confirm him in saying that the last 1 or 
2 per cent, on a tariff rate was often a very con- 
tentious matter. 

The other Premiers were not inclined to take the 

subject up until they had considered it beforehand. 

Lioyd Mr. Lloyd George's attitude was characteristic of the 

suspicious. Free Trader who was shortly to introduce the most 

hopelessly complicated proposals of taxation ever laid 

before any Parliament in the British Empire ; 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND ALL-RED ROUTE 388 

" Mr. Lloyd George I would be prepared to speak 
to it (i.e. Mr. Deakin's proposal), but I agree with 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Sir Joseph Ward that it is 
simply adding another complication to the one which 
is involved in the preferential proposal. 

" Mr. Deakin This is a very complex Empire, and 
only complex means can deal with its needs. 

" Mr. Lloyd George I think that very often the 
simplest proposals are those which deal most effec- 
tively with complicated situations." (R., p. 353.) 

Accordingly the subject was postponed to a later 
day. When the time came Mr. Deakin produced a 
draft resolution : 

" This Conference recommends that, in order to 
provide funds for developing trade, commerce, the re 
means of communication and those of transport 
within the Empire, a duty of 1 per cent, upon all 
foreign imports shall be levied, or an equivalent 
contribution be made by each of its Legislatures. 
After consultations between their representatives in 
conference, the common fund shall be devoted to co- 
operative projects approved by the Legislatures affected, 
with the general purpose of fostering the industrial 
affairs of the Empire so as to promote its growth and 
unity." (R., p. 443.) 

He explained how the system was intended to work : 

" I will go into the figures later. The principle is 
that you (Britain) put into this fund, for argument's 
sake, 800,000, and we (Australia) 100,000, as far 
as we two are concerned. Then for any joint service 
you would consider how much of your 800,000 
you would devote towards it, and we would consider 
how much of our 100,000 we should devote towards 
it. We should not be the only partners. Any 
proposal we were interested in, New Zealand might 
be, and Canada might be, and others might be. But 
the idea is to have a joint fund. Roughly the 
amount contributed by each country to that fund 



324 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

should be within its own control to the extent that 
it could not be applied to any purposes until its 
Legislature has approved of the proposal, which would 
set out how much the United Kingdom, how much 
Canada, how much Australia, and how much New 
Zealand should contribute. The Legislatures do not 
let go of anything. They deal with their own money 
under this Resolution as they do now, and unless they 
are satisfied a fair distribution has been arranged they 
will not pass it." 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier You say it is to be a 
general fund, and if you create a general fund, how 
are you leaving it to the Legislatures to distribute ? 

" Mr. DeaJcinYou have no choice between that 
and creating some other body which would displace 
our Legislatures. I think that is impossible. 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier You can leave it to each 
Legislature to do as much as it pleases without 
creating a fund. 

"Mr. Deakin But if we can agree at once that 
there shall be such a fund and fix its amount, that 
would be a first step to Imperial co-operation. The 
existence of that fund would make it imperative that 
there should be from time to time consultations of 
a business character as to how that fund should be 
applied, and how the respective portions contributed 
by each shall be arranged. It would have to be 
absolutely under the control of the Legislatures, but 
there would be a fund and full consideration from 
time to time as to how it could be most fruitfully 
applied. The Legislatures would have to be satisfied 
as to its application in each instance. 

"Dr. Jameson I think this is an attempt on Mr. 
Deakin's part to found a fund for the schemes which 
the President of the Board of Trade suggested. 

" Mr. Lloyd George To found a fund at our expense. 

" Dr. Jameson Not all at your expense. Up to 
now the indication has been that it was to come 
entirely from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 1 

i Supra, p. 233. 



rrxn. AND ALI,HKD ROUTE 

" Mr. Lloyd George We should contribute at 
least 5 for every 1 the Colonies in the aggregate 
would contribute. Perhaps that is too high, but two 
or three to one at least. 

"Mr. DeakinWe are over 12,000,000 people 
and you 43,000,000 people between three and four 
times as much." (R., p. 44-56.) 

This preliminary skirmish, after which the further 
discussion of the subject was again adjourned, revealed 
once more the apathetic, suspicious, push-you-off 
attitude which the British Government instinctively 
adopted. A few days before they had, as Dr. Jameson 
reminds us above, felt inclined to throw a lavish 
dole, with some idea of saving their face. But that 
transient mood had passed, and now they had re- 
lapsed again into sullen obstruction. 

The subject was resumed at a time convenient to 
Mr. Lloyd George, who was preoccupied with the task of the 
of convincing his supporters in Parliament that his" c 
Patent Bill more stringent in its compulsory clauses 
than any corresponding measure in protectionist 
countries, where the tariff serves the main purpose- 
did not violate the free-trade law against interfering 
with the ''natural" distribution of industries. 1 Mr. 
Deakin briefly recapitulated the objects of his pro- 
posal. He instanced mail services, cables, and relief 
from Suez Canal dues as typical purposes to which the 
proposed Development Fund might be applied. Such 
enterprises had the merit, he pointed out, of bene- 
fiting "both ends" as well as intermediate points. 
Britain would score by being herself at one end of 
the line in almost every scheme of communications 
that could be suggested. He submitted that the dis- 
tribution of benefits from expenditure on such objects 

1 In reply to the free-trade argument about the " natural " course of trade, 
Sir William Lync and others had remarked that the "natural " course was to 
trade with your own kindred. 



326 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

did bear some proportion to the distribution of popula- 
tion and of trade interests ; so that Britain would 
gain advantages proportionate to her relatively large 
contribution as compared with the Dominions. He 
did not dispute that to provide the money first and 
look for schemes to spend it on afterwards " inverts 
the usual order of proceedings to some extent." But 
it would have the supreme advantage of turning the 
general and expressed desire to co-operate for pur- 
poses of this kind into a channel leading to practical 
results. The money being there, it would be impos- 
sible to go on postponing, as was always happening 
under the existing conditions. Representatives of 
the contributory Governments would of necessity have 
to come together and prepare schemes, apportioning 
the expenditure in each case. Then it would remain 
for each separate Legislature to say whether it would 
consent to allot the proposed portion of its part of 
the Fund to the purpose specified. If it refused : 
well, the responsibility for rejecting a concrete pro- 
posal of Imperial co-operation would at least rest on 
the right shoulders, viz. the representatives of the 
people ; and that State's unexpended quota would 
simply go on accumulating until some proposal was 
made which its Legislature could approve as being 
both desirable and financially fair to all. Of course, 
Mr. Deakin recognised, such a procedure would be 
cumbersome, depending each time on the individual 
consent of the several Legislatures to the particular 
project ; but no other plan was possible consistently 
with the postulated principle of autonomy. At any 
rate it would be an advance upon present conditions, 
under which nothing was ever done without prolonged 
delay and great difficulty, to turn into concrete 
achievement a principle of co-operation for which in 
the abstract they all professed unbounded enthusiasm 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND ALL-RED ROUTE 327 

To elucidate the discussion a table is here inserted 
showing approximately how much would be contri- botba 
buted to such a Development Fund by various parts 00 
of the Empire on three distinct bases, viz. : (I) 2s. 
per head of population ; (2) 1 per cent, surtax on 
foreign imports ; (3) 1 per cent, on foreign imports 
other than American. It will be noticed at once 
that, whatever may be the other defects of the 
Hofmeyr surtax as a standard of contribution, it at 
least avoids the reductio ad absurdum which is 
reached as soon as the population basis is applied 
to the Empire as a whole, including India. In 
regard to the self-governing States, the yield of a 
2s. poll-tax approximates in the aggregate to that 
of 1 per cent, on foreign imports ; though the dis- 
tribution between the several States is widely dis- 
similar in the two cases for all excepting Britain. 
But the moment India is included the population 
basis produces an absurd result, debiting India with 
30,000,000 ; whereas the Hofmeyr basis would 
debit her with something between the Canadian 
and Australian contributions, which is plainly nearer 
the standard of equality of sacrifice. 





Population. 
Est. 1911. 


Revenue at 
2s. per head. 


Revenue at 
1% on For- 
eign Imports. 
1909. 


Revenue at 
1% on For- 
eign Imports 
other than 
American. 


Britain . 
Canada . 
Australia 
New Zealand 
S. Africa (white) 
Newfoundland 


45,000,000 
8,000,000 
4,500,000 
1,100,000 
1,400,000 
250,000 




4,500,000 
800,000 
450,000 
110,000 
140,000 
25,000 



4,794,530 
460,000 
135,000 
21,197 
89,295 
9,377 



3,610,691 
62,240 
81,118 
9,534 
67,337 
676 






6,025,000 


5,509,397 


3,831,596 


India 
Jamaica 


315,000,000 
860,000 


31,500,000 
86,000 


234,707 
12,683 


212,952 
1,167 



328 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Question of But Mr. Deakin claimed for his proposal that this 
question of fairness in the apportionment the old 
insoluble problem really did not arise in connection 
therewith, because each Legislature would retain the 
right of deciding how much, if any, of its quota should 
be assigned to any particular project which the De- 
velopment Commissioners might recommend. When 
Mr. Lloyd George protested that the scheme was 
" grossly unfair " as between the mother country and 
the Colonies though it was not obviously unfair at 
all Mr. Deakin quietly replied : " Each spends its 
own money." And when the British Minister went 
on to declare that it was also unfair as between the 
several Colonies, he again replied simply : " Each 
spends its own money." 

Lioyd Mr. Lloyd George seems, indeed, to have been 

fi r e st rge floundering for an argument it did not matter what, 
so long as it would serve for refusing to consider the 
proposal any further. His first inspiration had been 
to attack the scheme on the ground that contribu- 
tions to the British Admiralty were excluded from 
its scope ; the reason for that being, as Mr. Deakin 
explained, that the larger Colonies disliked the cash- 
subsidy principle of naval defence. But while remark- 
ing complainingly on the disparity between Britain's 
33-million naval estimates and the trivial amount of 
the Colonial contributions, Mr. Lloyd George had not 
drawn the conclusion that owing to the "unfairness" 
of the distribution Britain should spend less money 
or none at all on her navy. Perceiving the incon- 
sistency into which he was blundering, he hastily 
veered on to another tack, and acknowledged that 
the Development Fund would be advantageous to 
Britain : 

" I am certain there would be a very considerable 
benefit to the Empire as a whole; we would benefit, 



I)i;\ Kl.nl'MI.NT | I'M), AM) ALL-RED ROUTE 329 

the Colonies would benefit, each individually, and 
the Empire as a whole would be the richer for it. 
I am confident of that." (R., p. 515.) 

What, then, was the insuperable objection ? He went 
on to explain : 

" But the experience of Canada has proved that 
while preference has undoubtedly stimulated trade 
between the Mother Country and the Dominion, the 
relative effect on Canadian export trade, as a whole, 
has been much greater than on the export trade 
of the United Kingdom. The only advantage of 
this proposal, if I may say so, is this : I think that 
it is useful as furnishing with almost mathematical 
precision Mr. Deakin's ideas as to the proportion 
of the burden of Imperial Preference which should 
be borne by the Mother Country and by the self- 
governing Colonies respectively." (Ibid.) 

So the fetish - bound party man had revealed His false 
himself again. He had fallen back on the old- 'Red- 
argument of the narrowest protectionism whenever pl 
reciprocity is proposed between a big country and a 
little one. You must not take a shilling profit if the 
other man is going to make eighteenpence out of the 
transaction. Cut off your nose to spite your face. 
That is not the liberal theory of reciprocity ; which 
simply is that so long as there is mutual profit in 
the proposal neither party, and least of all a rich 
country, need worry about whether the gain is rela- 
tively greater or less to the other side. Such is the 
spirit in which President Taft is coaxing Canada away 
from Imperial Reciprocity into the path of American 
commercial union. But such was not the spirit in 
which the British Government of 1907, intent on 
party self-preservation, received the honest overtures 
of the Dominion statesmen. 



330 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Mr. Deakin protested against the line of objection 
which Mr. Lloyd George was adopting : 

" He persists in assuming that I propose that the 
Legislatures should in some mysterious manner be 
moved to vote their own money for unbusiness-like 
proposals and in unfair proportions. ... It is left to 
each Legislature to decide how they should spend 
their money, and how much money they should 
spend. What better security could there be ? Again, 
even if the argument had discovered a defect in 
the particular system of raising the money, it does 
not point to a defect in the principle I am concerned 
to maintain. This is that if we remain as we are, 
dependent upon individual negotiations between one 
or two Governments concerned in occasional arrange- 
ments, we shall be in no better position after this 
Conference than we were before it." (R., p. 517.) 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier also seems to have been pre- 
judiced against the proposal ; his first criticism being 
unusually confused for a statesman whose exposition 
is generally lucid. He appeared to argue that unless 
the British Government actually levied the 1 per 
cent, on foreign imports, the standard of contribution 
for the others would remain indeterminate. Mr. 
Deakin explained again that a "calculation" of 1 
per cent, on foreign imports would suffice to fix the 
quota ; but for some obscure reason Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
was unable to accept this. His more general objec- 
tion to the proposal was quite simple. He preferred 
the old method of agreeing first on a particular 
scheme and finding the money for it afterwards, instead 
of reversing the process, as Mr. Deakin now proposed. 
At the time of this discussion he had not yet brought 
forward his cherished " all-red " mail service proposi- 
tion ; and probably he had been misled by the protes- 
tations of British Ministers into thinking that they 
would entertain it favourably : 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND ALL-RED ROUTE 

" I hope before we separate we can find an actual 
scheme on which we can ask the contribution of the 
British Government and all or some of the Govern- 
ments here represented some big scheme of com- 
munication among ourselves. This is what you have 
in mind yourself, Mr. Deakin. Therefore I think you 
should not propose the motion to-day." (R., p. 527.) 

Sir Joseph Ward's objection to Mr. Deakin's pro- 
posal was very different in spirit from that of Mr. 
Lloyd George. He complained that under it his 
country would not contribute nearly enough. So 
British was the trade of New Zealand that her quota, 
at 1 per cent, on foreign imports, would only be a 
beggarly 20,000 a year ; whereas something nearer 
100,000 a year would be readily voted by the New 
Zealand Legislature for projects of the kind contem- 
plated. Another objection was that the principle of 
a surtax had already been tried in the Colony with 
unsatisfactory results. There had formerly been a 
uniform duty a surtax so far as it applied to articles 
previously dutiable of 2J per cent, on all imports, in 
aid of the general revenue. It proved so unpopular 
with all classes that it had to be repealed. Sir Joseph 
Ward did not explain why it had been unpopular. 
He had forgotten for the moment both that the 
actual proposal was a surtax on foreign imports only, 
and that the quota might be made up by ordinary 
taxation. He went on to raise the further objection 
that, under the thorough -going system of preference 
which New Zealand would like, the revenue from a 
surtax on foreign goods only would be a dwindling 
amount. Still, his sympathies were " entirely in the 
direction" of Mr. Deakin's aim; and he too, while 
unable to support this particular proposal for the 
reasons given, was most anxious to take some practical 
step in advance. 



criuci.-m. 



332 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Jameson's Dr. Jameson (C.C.) was likewise "quite in accord 
with the general principle" of trying to turn this 
universally professed spirit of co-operation to some 
practical account instead of allowing it to vanish once 
more into thin air when the Conference dispersed. 
But he agreed with the Canadian Premier that Mr. 
Deakin's proposal was complicated ; and so he would 
wait to hear what alternative plan the British 
Ministers had to propose. Mr. Moor (Nat.) took the 
same line. Though he felt that Mr. Deakin's scheme 
had "at any rate a practical ring about it," he would 
not make up his mind until the British Ministers 
had explained in what better way their reiterated 
sympathy might take a concrete form. 

Bond Sir Robert Bond could not support Mr. Deakin, 

the bulk of Newfoundland's trade being with foreign 
countries. He did not give statistics to show how 
much they imported from [the United States ; though 
he mentioned that it consisted largely of food stuffs. 
But the figures given in the last two columns of the 
above table seem to indicate pretty clearly why the 
proposal could not be entertained by a Government 
which though Sir Robert Bond did not tell the 
Conference so was still staking everything on the 
chances of an American trade treaty. 

Deakin's Mr. Deakin replied to the criticisms. Acknow- 

ledging the cordial tone adopted by most of his 
Dominion colleagues, even while they differed from 
him, he insisted again that he was not wedded to 
1 per cent, or to the surtax principle itself, or to 
any particular plan whatsoever. He had merely 
taken up an old plan rather than try to invent a new 
one of his own ; simply because the old one, being 
more or less familiar already, might afford the easiest 
basis for the discussion he wished to raise. His sole 
object had been to elicit alternative proposals in the 






DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND ALL-RED ROUTE 388 

hope that thus some or other practical method might 
be found for co-operative action towards ends on 
which all were agreed. If his tentative suggestion 
would not do, what alternative line of advance had 
any of them to offer? That was the whole point, 
and they had not met it. In particular, what alter- 
native had British Ministers to suggest, since on 
them lay the onus of having blocked the path of 
Imperial Reciprocity which all the rest were eager 
to travel ? 

" They simply say, ' Bring forward a particular 
proposal and we will look at it.' We knew that 
before. That is a very admirable attitude, the purely 
negative attitude they always have taken and always 
will take, and the attitude other Ministers in the 
same quandary always will take I am not finding 
fault with that. I have asked, ' Can we do anything 
more ? ' The answer is, ' We cannot do anything 
more.'" (R., p. 524.) 

Pressed by this challenge, Mr. Lloyd George at , 
once declared that, for his own part, if his ministerial motion. 
colleagues would agree, he would assent to some plan 
of " systematic consultation " in connection with these 
projects of communication. That would be an ad- 
vance on the existing position without involving the 
provision of money in anticipation of definite schemes. 
The suggestion had already been made by Sir Joseph 
Ward as a possible compromise ; and Mr. Lloyd 
George himself was willing to accept it "just to 
show our bona jides." He offered the following re- 
draft of Mr. Deakin's resolution : 

" This Conference recommends that in order to 
develop trade, commerce, the means of communica- 
tion, and those of transport within the Empire, it is 
desirable that some means should be devised for 
systematic consultation between the members of 



334 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

various parts of the Empire for the purpose of con- 
sidering co-operative projects for the general purpose 
of fostering the industrial forces of the Empire, so 
as to promote its growth and unity." (R., p. 526.) 

Func- Mr. Deakin immediately hailed the motion as " a 

the n secre- most distinct advance " on the position hitherto held 
by the British Ministers, preparing the way for 
thorough examination of definite schemes. To Mr. 
Lloyd George's retort, " You have no schemes," he 
replied, " We are full of them" ; and at once inquired 
whether for the purpose of the systematic consulta- 
tion the Dominion Governments should communicate 
with the Board of Trade or with the new Secretariat. 

" Chairman May I say that I undertook at the 
beginning of the Conference to organise a Secretariat. 
I have not had time since the Conference met, and I 
think you must really leave me some scope. ... It 
is really a question of organisation as to what part of 
the business is to come through this Secretariat in 
this Office, or what part may go through the Board of 
Trade. I have undertaken the organisation of the 
Secretariat. 

" Mr. Deakin I do not think that is an answer." 

Lioyd It is clear in retrospect that the British Govern- 

suppressed ment had no intention of allowing the Imperial move- 
ment to go forward. Having succeeded in annexing 
the Secretariat, they were not going to let it be used 
for the kind of purpose which had been the main 
object of those who had fathered the idea. It was 
to be kept in party leading-strings inside the Colonial 
Office. Mr. Winston Churohill, again intervening 
without any locus standi, quickly came to the aid of 
his chief in restraining Mr. Lloyd George from going 
ahead. He argued that Mr. Lloyd George's resolu- 
tion was superfluous because its intention was covered 
by the general Resolution already passed in regard 



l)K\T.I.<>l'Mi:\T 1TM). AM) ALL-RED ROUTE . 

to " subsidiary " Conferences. Mr. Deakin hastened 
to correct that idea ; pointing out that Mr. Lloyd 

>rge's proposal was for regular and constant con- 
sultation, instead of spasmodic conventions only to be 
held when some specific scheme had come to a certain 
stage. It therefore marked an advance ; whereas the 
Subsidiary-Conference resolution was merely a recog- 
nition of pre-existing practice. 

But the Lloyd-George resolution was not put 
to the vote. Though all the other members also 
seemed ready to support it, Sir Wilfrid Laurier desired 
to let it stand over until his own specific scheme, the 
All-Red mail proposition, had been discussed. So 
the chairman decided to record in the minutes simply 
that Mr. Deakin and Mr. Lloyd George had sub- 
mitted their respective resolutions. 

Mr. Deakin's disappointment is apparent in the 

, . . ,, , i i i i in -i stitutional 

dignified sentences with which he proceeded to close objection, 
the discussion ; and which are recorded at the head of 
this chapter. But there remains one other objection 
of the British Ministers to notice more particularly. 
They had fastened, in the course of the discussion, 
on the constitutional aspect of the proposal : 

" Mr. Lloyd George You must have a scheme 
before you consider the money part of it. 

" Dr. Jameson It is a very useful thing to have a 
fund to draw upon for any scheme. 

" Mr. Winston Churchill Having a fund and then 
looking for objects to spend it on was pithily described 
the other day as finding a biscuit in the street and 
then buying a dog to give it to." (R., p. 521.) 

" Mr. Lloyd George To bring forward a proposal 
. . . with no scheme, no plan of spending, not a 
glimmer of an idea what the money is to go to, but 
simply saying, ' We are to pool it, and until we can 
find something to spend it on let it roll up,' if 
that is a scheme for a great commercial Empire, I 



336 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

think it is a scheme pour rire, if I may say so. It is 
not as if there was a definite plan, which is exactly 
what Mr. Asquith has asked for, and very properly 
asked for. He said he was prepared to recommend 
the Treasury to find the money." (R., p. 523.) 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier If there is anything which 
is true in constitutional British government it is this, 
that you do not provide money in advance for any- 
thing. Your proposal is to create a general fund and 
then you find how you are to apply it afterwards. . . . 
That seems to me an absolute departure from con- 
stitutional government." (R., p. 527.) 

Mr. Lloyd George's remark that there was " not 
the glimmer of an idea" as to the nature of the 
schemes on which the money should be spent was 
another example of prejudice. For, Mr. Deakin had 
idea< at the outset made it perfectly clear and all the 
others quite understood that the Development Fund 
was to be for those classes of co-operative enterprise 
which British Ministers had effusively blessed, par- 
ticularly shipping and telegraphic communications. 
But more interest attaches now to the constitutional 
objection which Mr. Lloyd George and his future 
colleague, Mr. Churchill, had put into such con- 
temptuous language. They were destined, within 
two years, to pay the sincerest form of homage to 
the scheme which they had thus ridiculed. In 
1909 Mr. Lloyd George introduced in Parliament 
his Development Bill for the United Kingdom ; a 
measure based on the very same principle which 
he had rejected with contumely when it was urged 
by Mr. Deakin as an instrument of Imperial partner- 
ship. It seems clear that Mr. Lloyd George took 
his inspiration for the Development Bill from Mr. 
Deakin's proposal, without any acknowledgment. 

Under " The Development and Road Improvement 
Funds Act," 1909, sums of money may be placed in 



i)i:\i:i.oi'Mi.M rr\n. AND ALL-RKD KOITI 

advance at the disposal of the Treasury ; to be spent 
on the advice of certain Development Commissioners 
for the purposes of "aiding and developing agri- 
culture," afforestation, reclamation, rural transport 
(other than road-making, which is assigned to a 
special Road Board with separate revenues), con- 
st ruction and improvement of harbours, and of inland 
navigation, development and improvement of fisheries, 
and, generally, " any other purpose calculated to 
promote the economic development of the United 
Kingdom." As to definite schemes there was not " a 
glimmer of an idea" at the time of introducing the 
Bill ; but the Commissioners have found no lack of 
" dogs " waiting for the " biscuit." The Commissioners 
are to consider and report upon applications submitted 
by outside bodies for grants in aid of such schemes, 
or they may themselves prepare schemes to be carried 
out with this money. By way of starting the Develop- 
ment Fund the Act ordained that " there shall be 
charged and issued out of the Consolidated Fund . . . 
in the year ending 31st March 1911, and in each of 
the next succeeding four years, the sum of 500,000." 
Provision also was made for what Mr. Lloyd George 
might again have called the "rolling up" of unex- 
pended balances. The only difference in constitu- 
tional principle between his Act and the Deakin 
proposal seems to be that the Treasury, acting on the 
advice of the Development Commissioners and on 
the responsibility of the Minister, may grant money 
for any scheme without that prior endorsement of 
Parliament for which Mr. Deakin stipulated. Thus 
the constitutional objection which Mr. Lloyd George 
raised against Mr. Deakin's plan seems to apply a 
fortiori to his own. 

Nor is it clear that in 1907 the principle of the 
Deakin plan, though it may have been novel to 
VOL. n Y 



338 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

ACana- Britain, was actually unknown to Canada or to Sir 
analogy for Wilfrid Laurier's Government. In 1899 there was 
pian. m passed an Act " respecting the City of Ottawa," under 
which an annual grant of 12,000 is payable quarterly 
in advance to certain Commissioners for them to 
expend, co-operating with the Corporation, " in the 
improvement and beautifying of the said city," by the 
creation and maintenance of parks, roads, or public 
buildings in the city or neighbourhood. Estimates 
must be submitted to the Minister of Finance, and 
accounts must be audited in the same way as in the 
case of other public moneys. Three out of the four 
Commissioners are appointed by the Government and 
hold office during pleasure, the fourth being appointed 
by the Corporation. No salaries are payable to them. 
Under Mr. Lloyd George's Act, on the other hand, 
the Development Commissioners are appointed for ten 
years, and two out of the five are salaried, up to 
3000 apiece. 

Principle To Mr. Lloyd George, at any rate, is due the 
plan tab- credit, if such it be in his own despite, for having 
British y cleared the way for a reconsideration in a less pre- 
int ' judiced atmosphere of the question of an Imperial 
Development Fund, and Development Commissioners. 
Although those terms were not used in the 1907 dis- 
cussion, nor were familiar at that time in any similar 
context, they have been employed throughout this 
chapter because to-day thanks to Mr. Lloyd George 
they convey immediately to English readers not 
only the general idea but also the political structure 
of Mr. Deakin's proposal. No prejudice is awakened 
by the terminology. On the contrary, Mr. Lloyd 
George's measure albeit a characteristically crude 
device, overlapping the functions of several other 
Departments, for promoting practical enterprises which 
were beyond the capacity of a Government of phrase- 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AM) AIL KKI) ROUTE 389 

makers to tackle is at present exceedingly popular 
in Britain; people feeling that here at last is a real 
chance of getting official " sympathy" translated into 
deeds. A similar reception awaits in Britain any future 
proposal to create similar machinery for the Empire. 

On the following day (the 15th sitting) Sir Wilfrid THB ALL- 
Laurier had his opportunity of putting to the test 
the simpler and more constitutional method which he 
favoured for effecting the admittedly laudable purpose 
of Mr. Ueakin's proposal. The All-Red mail service, 
as this long-standing project had now come to be 
named, was substantially the same proposition as that 
which had been so fully discussed and generally 
accepted at the Ottawa session of 1894, but had failed 
afterwards to materialise. In passing it may be noted 
that neither his Preference resolution nor that which 
he was now to propose, had been submitted by Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier in advance. For some reason it seems 
to have become the tradition of the Canadian Govern- 
ment not to respond to the preliminary invitation of 
the President to send in suggestions for the agenda ; 
though when the time came Canada has generally had 
something substantial to bring before the Conference. 
Her Premier now moved the following resolution : 

" That in the opinion of this Conference the 
interests of the Empire demand that in so far as m 
possible its different portions should be connected 
by the best possible means of mail communication, 
travel, and transportation; that to this end steps 
should immediately be taken to establish a fast 
service from Great Britain to Canada, and through 
Canada to Australia and New Zealand, and also to 
China and Japan ; that such service upon the Atlantic 
Ocean should be carried on by steamships equal in 
speed and character to the best now in existence, 
and upon the Pacific Ocean by steamships of a speed 
of not less than 18 knots, and in other respects as 
nearly equal to the Atlantic ships as circumstances 



340 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 



will permit ; that for the purpose of carrying the above 
project into effect, such financial support as may be 
necessary should be contributed by Great Britain, 
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in equitable 
proportions." (R., p. 565.) 

It will be noticed that the above resolution in- 
cluded an improved service across the Pacific to China 
and Japan as well as to Australasia. To the Canadian 
Government the connection with the Far East (or 
West, from a Canadian standpoint), had always 
seemed hardly less important than the connection 
with Australasia ; especially, perhaps, since in 1906 
they had brought Canada under the Anglo- Japanese 
commercial treaty. But the fast Atlantic service 
was a first section common to both the China and 
the Australasia routes ; so that by supporting the 
Australasian Pacific project the Canadian Government 
in effect secured Australasian support for their China 
project also. Sir Wilfrid Laurier fully recognised this. 
His Government, he declared, would support liberally 
both the Atlantic and the Pacific sections, at least 
as liberally as any other partner. 

The following table will facilitate an understanding 
of the schemes put forward : 





Distance in 
miles. 


Ward's proposed 
time- table : 
days. 


Liverpool to New York . 
/ to Halifax . 
" \or to Quebec 


n. 3,036 
n. 2,485 \ 
n. 2,625 / 


4 


Halifax to Vancouver 
Quebec 


3,655\ 
3,069 / 


4 


Vancouver ( to Wellington 
I or Auckland 


n. 6,447\ 
n. 6.205/ 


12 to 13 


(ma Honolulu and Suva, Fiji) 




20 to 21 


Wellington to Sydney .... 


n. 1,233 


3 






23 to 24 



n. = Nautical miles. 



DKVKI.MI'MIAT I CM), AND AU.-HKI) Hni'TK 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, explaining his proposal, was 
brief and to the point. There could be no two views, 
he would assume, about the desirability of taking 
;id vantage of the shorter Atlantic distance to Halifax 
(winter) or Quebec (summer) as compared with New 
York in order to bring the leading Dominions nearer 
to Britain. Assuming ships of equal speed (24 knots), 
the Canadian Atlantic passage was two days less 
than the American. This proposal meant crossing 
the Atlantic in four days from Liverpool. Another 
four days by transcontinental rail would land pas- 
sengers and mails on the Pacific coast at Vancouver. 
Assuming 18 knots on the Pacific, Sydney would 
be reached direct from Vancouver in 16 days ; bring- 
ing the total journey from Liverpool within twenty- 
five days, which would be a considerable reduction on 
the existing time (about thirty-one days to Sydney 
by the Suez Canal route). Later on he expressed 
regret that, some five years before, Britain should 
have subsidised the big Cunarders to go to New 
York ; instead of taking the opportunity to initiate 
a Canadian service instead, 1 

1 The terms of the agreement between the British Government and the 
Cunard Company were as follows : (1) That the Cunard Company shall build 
two large steamers for the Atlantic trade capable of maintaining an average 
speed of 25 knots and a minimum ocean-going speed of 23 knots. The 
agreement is to remain in force for 20 years from the date of the completion 
of the vessels. (2) The Government to advance a sum equal to the cost of 
completing the two new vessels, such sum, however, not to exceed a total of 
2,600,000. The interest payable by the company on this loan to be at the 
rate of 2J per cent, per annum. The security for the loan to be a specific 
mortgage upon practically the whole of the company's assets. The loan to be 
payable by annual instalments extending over 20 years from the completion 
of the vessels. (3) From the time the new vessels commenced to run the 
Government was to pay the company at the rate of 150,000 per annum instead 
of the present Admiralty subvention. The company previously were receiving 
68,000 per annum for the carriage of mails. On the other hand, the com- 
pany has pledged itself to remain until the expiry of the agreement a purely 
British undertaking, and the necessary alterations have been made in the 
articles of association to preclude foreigners or their British nominees from 
becoming shareholders. The company has also undertaken not unduly to raise 
freights or give any preferential rates to foreigners. (2'imet, Dec. 10, 1906.) 



342 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

The Mr. Deakin pointed out at once as his pre- 

attftude. decessor did at Ottawa in 1894 that for Australia 
the drawback of the scheme was the double tranship- 
ment at the Pacific and Atlantic terminals, which 
rendered the route useless for freight service. But 
though that consideration would preclude the Common- 
wealth from offering any lavish subsidy, he recog- 
nised that quicker mail and passenger communication 
would assist Australian commerce. His colleague, 
Sir William Lyne, disputed the Canadian Premier's 
Pacific time-table. Allowing for necessary coalings 
en route, and going round by New Zealand (which 
he assumed would be necessary) the through journey 
would take not less than thirty days, or twenty-seven 
days if New Zealand were omitted. To be materially 
useful to Australia the new service would have to be 
shortened considerably. 

New Sir Joseph Ward approached the question in a 

nthud- vigorous style. Like his predecessor, the " purely 
commercial man" at Ottawa in 1894, he hoped they 
would all get rid of " every element of parochialism," 
and look at the matter from the standpoint of the 
common weal. Of course the boats must come to 
New Zealand first, merely because New Zealand was 
nearer than Sydney to Vancouver. New Zealand 
could not look at it otherwise. But Sydney would 
get all the terminal advantages and be the first point 
of departure for the return journey. New Zealand 
was tired of being kept in the " backwoods," five or 
six weeks by British routes from Britain when steam 
could take them there in three weeks. His Govern- 
ment would not give a halfpenny to a slow service ; 
but they would gladly give 100,000 a year to a 
proper one. Already they were paying 40,000 
half to the Vancouver line and half for their San 
Francisco mail service, which brought them within 



MAKLOl'.MKNT I I'M), AM) ALL-HK1) KOI "IT. 

twenty-eight days of England but they would gladly 
drop the American boats it* they could get the kind 
of service they wanted, via Vancouver, which was a 
somewhat longer route but all-British. It was no use 
talking of merely 18 knots on the Pacific. They 
must have 22 knots on the Pacific, and of course put 
all notions of cargo out of their heads. Cargo would 
always go mainly by tramp steamers ; and in that 
matter the thing to do was to reduce or abolish the 
prohibitive dues on the Suez Canal. But this trans- 
Canada scheme must be regarded as a mail service pure 
and simple. Accepting Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Liver- 
pool-Vancouver time-table, 22 knots on the Pacific 
would reduce the total journey to three weeks from 
Liverpool to Auckland or Wellington, and about 
twenty-four days to the Sydney terminus. The 
present was a golden opportunity, the San Francisco 
earthquake having temporarily stopped the American 
service. But if New Zealand could not get an all-red 
service of the kind she hoped for, there would be 
nothing for it but to renew negotiations with the 
Americans. The Conference had been talking about 
emigration. The way to get British immigrants was 
to offer cheap passages from Britain on fast ships. 
" From our point of view, instead of spending any- 
thing for emigration, we would one hundred thousand 
times rather give it as a matter of practical business 
to a fast service to bring our own countries within 
three weeks of London." It might cost 300,000 a 
year more than any service they had hitherto had ; 
but what was that among the partner States in com- 
parison with the object in view ? So let them get to 
business without delay. He had been agitating this 
matter for seventeen or eighteen years ever since 
his Government had sent him to Ottawa about it 
in 1895, when he signed the contract which Canada 



344 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

afterwards dropped and it was high time to get 
something done. He would ask Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
to amend his resolution by specifying faster steamers 
for the Pacific service, and by proposing that tenders 
should forthwith be invited. (Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
signified his assent.) That would bring the matter, 
argued Sir Joseph Ward, on to a practical footing 
at once, and was the only way of doing it. 1 
s.Africa South Africa was not directly interested in the 
cerned? question. With the idea, however, of helping his 
colleagues, Dr. Jameson suggested that perhaps it 
would be better to divide the scheme into its Atlantic 
and Pacific parts and consider these separately. (He 
did not realise how this splitting up would weaken 
the Australasian interest in the scheme ; or that the 
same expedient had been put forward at the Ottawa 
session thirteen years before.) Sir William Lyne like- 
wise revived an old idea by suggesting that New 
Zealand should be content with a branch service from 
Fiji ; but Sir Joseph Ward would not hear of any such 
avoidable transhipment. 

British It now remained for British Ministers to "make 

meat's good," as the saying is ; and to vindicate Sir Wilfrid 
attitude*. Laurier's political judgment in relying on their sin- 
cerity and squelching Mr. Deakin's proposal to have 
a Development Fund. Mr. Lloyd George was not 
long in showing their hand. He was dreadfully sorry 
that the Canadian resolution should have been shown 
to him on the previous evening only, too late for the 
Cabinet to give it due consideration. They would 
want to submit the scheme to " experts," in order to 
find out if it would be feasible except at " prohibitive " 
expense, which he very much doubted. Further, he 
remarked that there was an "alternative" proposal 
from Australia in regard to the Suez Canal. It was 

1 This was the story of the Pacific cable over again. Of. vol. i. p. 244. 



m.\ r.i.nrMKNT rrsi), AND ALL RED ROUTE 345 

" not only a matter of a fast mail service, but also 
a question of the cheaper transport of goods and 
materials from the Colonies." Finally, they would 
have to consider the probable opening in a few years 
of the Panama Canal, which might revolutionise all 
the conditions. Accordingly the British Government 
wished to amend the Canadian resolution in two 
respects ; first, by substituting something about 
" initiate concerted inquiry " in place of the affirma- 
tion that the scheme was desirable ; and, secondly, to 
add something at the end to the effect that the con- 
certed inquiry should cover also all other proposals 
of a similar nature. 

Here they were helped by Sir Robert Bond. The Newfound- 
Newfoundland Government, he explained, had a scheme, 
scheme for bringing a fast Atlantic service to that 
Colony, and had already committed themselves to a 
heavy subsidy in land and mineral rights as well as 
cash. The prospective contractors were already 
taking it up with the British Government. He 
hoped, therefore, that Sir Wilfrid Laurier was not 
" wedded " to any particular scheme. To which the 
Canadian Premier drily answered that he had no 
objection to the Newfoundland scheme being con- 
sidered. 

Naturally Mr. Lloyd George's reply was discon- A question 
certing to the representatives of Canada and New noffi? 7 ' 
Zealand. " I do not think," protested Sir Wilfrid Mper 
Laurier, "it is a question of experts in this matter, 
but a question of policy . . . there is no necessity for 
experts, it is a question of policy. Shall you or 
shall you not have such a service ? That is a question 
for the Conference to decide." Nor, in their view, 
could a reduction of Suez Canal tolls be regarded as 
in any sense an alternative to the Canadian proposi- 
tion, which was quite distinct ; though they might 



346 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

well accept both. The protest was backed by Sir 
Joseph Ward, who again pointed out that the way to 
ascertain the cost was to call for tenders on their 
own specifications. If they wished to know the com- 
parative cost of services at various rates of speed 
they might, as Mr. Deakin suggested, call for alter- 
native tenders on that basis. 

To those who have read the account in this 
book of how the vested interests fought the 
Pacific cable, the significance of the British Govern- 
ment's proposed reference to " experts " will be 
sufficiently plain. "Experts" in plenty, represent- 
ing the interests of the existing steamship lines, 
would be only too willing to give the welcome 
assurance that the project was utterly impracticable 
at anything short of a staggering figure. Mr. Lloyd 
George, indeed, intimated that "he had already 
received expert opinions of this kind ; though for the 
moment he was more concerned to pretend that he 
had only known of the project for about twelve hours. 
"It is really rushing us unfairly," he protested. But 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier would not let that pass. The 
truth was, as he compelled Mr. Lloyd George to admit, 
that the idea of just such a mail service had been 
" running in this Conference all through," and had 
been " conferred upon informally " for some three 
weeks past. 

British From their own point of view the British Govern- 

ment' merit felt, no doubt, that they had a strong case 
standpoint ' n as k m g f or " inquiry," though not one which 
they could candidly explain. They may have been 
inclined, under stress of the Preference dilemma, 
to throw not more than, say, 250,000 a year into 
what they really regarded as useless projects of this 
kind, simply as the price of riddance. But they 
would naturally wish to get the fullest riddance for 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AM) Al.l,m:i) ROUTE 347 

their money ; and we have seen how they were 
obsessed with the idea that " even-handed " largess 
u.is essential in such cases. So they would desire 
to make a " fair " apportionment of their dole among 
the several Colonies ; a driblet to each of the five or 
six, instead of letting it all go into a Canada- Austral- 
asia undertaking. The Dominion statesmen, on the not that 
other hand, had allowed themselves to be deceived Dominions, 
with the notion that the British Ministers were sincere 
about these "other methods" of commercial co-opera- 
tion ; " making roads across the Empire, not building 
walls," as Mr. Churchill had expressed it. They had 
been asked to believe, and they were trying to believe, 
that in this business British Ministers were as much 
in earnest as themselves. On that assumption what 
did it matter if, as Mr. Lloyd George apprehended, 
there might be a difference of 200,000 or 300,000 
between 18 knots an hour and 22 or 24? What 
was that sum among the several countries directly 
interested, especially when Canada had pledged her- 
self to contribute at least as much as any of the 
others, including Britain ? If they really wanted to 
have an absolutely up-to-date mail service, one or two 
hundred thousands a year was not going to make the 
difference between having it and not having it. But 
in reality the speculation was within much narrower 
limits. The Colonial Ministers were used to dealing 
with mail contracts of this kind. The particular 
project before them was not by any means a new or 
novel one. Definite tenders had already been made 
for it on specifications sufficiently close to form a basis 
of intelligent conjecture as to what the improved 
scheme should cost. To decide what they wanted to 
have and then call for tenders was, therefore, as 
obviously the sensible course now as it had been when 
the Pacific cable project reached the same stage. 



348 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

It was, as Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Sir Joseph Ward 
had said, a question of policy simply. Inquiry, they 
protested, could only mean unnecessary delay. 

Resolution With such radical divergence of standpoint there 
was never any chance of practical results issuing ; but 
the farce was kept up to the end. When Mr. Lloyd 
George talked about the possibility of " other routes" 
for an all-British mail service to Australasia, the others 
could only point out to him that in fact there was 
no other route. Finally the resolution was passed in 
an amended form, leaving out the reference to " China 
and Japan " (on which the Canadian Premier did not 
insist), and inserting the proviso " within reasonable 
cost," which would give the British Government all the 
pretext they wanted for indefinite procrastination. 

Suez Canal In the course of the discussion Mr. Deakin made 
a suggestion in regard to relief from Suez Canal dues. 
The Governments of the Empire might arrange a 
scheme for refunding the whole or part of the dues 
on British shipping. But obviously this operation 
would be greatly facilitated if the shareholders of 
the Canal Company could first be induced to agree to 
a general reduction of tolls, affecting the shipping 
of all nationalities alike. Accordingly he called the 
attention of the President of the Board of Trade to 
the suggestion that the tolls should be levied on the 
basis of the cargo and passengers actually carried by 
the vessel, not on the basis of her carrying capacity 
whether full or empty, which was the existing 
arrangement. In this way vessels would effect a 
great saving in the slack season, enabling them to 
bear the tolls more easily in the busy season. The 
Governments of the Empire might then proceed to 
give British ships further relief by refunding the 
reduced tolls. But Mr. Lloyd George feared that 
the British Government, holding only about two-fifths 



Dl'.Vl .1 .nl'MKNT ITNI), AM) AI.I.-HK1) KOI'TK .'SIM 

of the shares and not having a proportionate voice in 

tin- innnaiM'inriit , would be unable to secure assent 
to the preliminary and general reduction proposed. 
The only course open to them would be, therefore, 
to refund part of the rates on British ships if, he 
should have said, they would ever dream of doing 
anything at all in the matter. 

The story of how the All-Red proposition gradu- Cabinet 
ally "fizzled out" may now be briefly narrated. Sir<mAii- 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman appointed a Govern- pusitiwi- 
ment committee, consisting of Messrs. Lloyd George, Liberal* 
Sydney Buxton, Runciman, and Churchill, to examine 8pllt 
the proposals with, as he said, " the aid of experts." ] 
But the apparent disposition of the Government to 
countenance the project divided their heterogeneous 
following at once into hostile camps. The pathetic 
little band of " Liberal Imperialists," who keenly 
supported the project with the idea that it was a 
substitute for Preference, found themselves in a hope- 
less minority. In Parliament Mr. Harold Cox, the 
high priest of Free Trade, demanded assurances 2 that 
the Government would respect the findings of the 
Committee on Shipping Subsidies, and would re- 
member the pledges of their party to " promote 
economy in public expenditure." Finally he asked 
" whether it was part of the policy of the Govern- 
ment to tax British and Irish farmers in order to 
enable competing Canadian produce to be carried 
across the Atlantic at less than commercial rates" 
as though the Free Trade system itself were not 
much more heavily mulcting those same farmers in 
order that their oversea competitors might be re- 
lieved from paying toll for the privilege of entering 
the British market. Similarly the Nation 3 protested 

1 House of Commons, Jane 27, 1907. 
1 Quoted in R., pp. 392-93. s July 6, 1907. 



350 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

against the principle of subsidising the carriage of 
freight or passengers, as distinguished from the 
carriage of mails, the one being a "private" and the 
other a "public" service. "Is not this," it asked, 
" a preference just as much as remission of an import 
duty paid on foreign produce ? " Apart from the 
difficulty of deciding between the claims of various 
shipping companies, was not the principle out of the 
question for any one who had " grasped the elements 
of Free Trade " ? That view of the matter was 
decisive. 

A syndicate headed by Lord Strathcona, the 
millionaire High Commissioner for Canada, was said 
to have been formed for the purpose of taking up 
the scheme. Towards the end of July 1907 a report 
appeared in the ministerial press 1 to the effect that 
the Cabinet committee had already reached an ad- 
verse decision, mainly on the score of expense, and 
alleging the excuse that the previous Government 
had prejudiced the matter by agreeing to subsidise 
the Cunard Company for an improved service on 
the New York route. 2 Probably the report was sub- 
stantially correct ; but the Government hesitated to 
kill the proposal formally quite so soon. A Canadian 
Minister 3 said that the plan was to hold a special 
conference of the Governments in order to consider 
the question of subsidies, after the British Government 
had finished their inquiries. Meanwhile particulars 
of a definite scheme began to leak out. Rumour in- 
dicated a 24-knot service on both the Atlantic and 
the Pacific, which would cost 420,000 a year on the 
A tentative Atlantic and 400,000 on the Pacific. Canada, so 

scheme. > m 

the report went, was willing to contribute half the 

1 Westminster Gazette, July 17, 1907. 

2 The Lusitania and Mauritania were at this time nearing completion. 

3 Mr. Brodeur, Canadian Gazette, July 25, 1907. 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND AM -HI I) KOUTE 851 

A tin nt i subsidy, and expected the British Govern 
MM -nt to contribute the other half. But the difficulty 
of the Pacific section was that Australia was not 
sutliciently interested to assume a proportionate share 
of the 400,000, especially since she was on the point 
of signing a new contract for the mail service via the 
Suez Canal, at a subsidy of 170,000 a year. 

Lord Grey, the Governor-General of Canada, 
played his usual part as a stalwart supporter of 
Canadian Imperial enterprise. For the British people 
to subsidise the longer American route instead of the 
shorter Canadian one was, in his view, as he told the 
people of Halifax, a " colossal Imperial blunder." At 
Westminster the Government, heckled by their free- 
trade supporters, still sought refuge in the existence 
of their committee, which they said was still examining 
the proposal. 1 In December (1907) Mr. Clifford Sifton, 

/ T ITT' in T T > mission to 

then Minister of the Interior in bir Wilfrid Launer s Britain. 
Government, came over unofficially in behalf of the 
scheme. He expounded it to the Liberal Imperialist 
group, who gave him and it a cordial welcome. 2 He 
confirmed the report that Canada was prepared to pay 
half of the Atlantic subsidy, together with a "sub- 
stantial amount " towards the Pacific subsidy ; but the 
Pacific proposition had now, it appears, reverted to 
an 18-knot basis. He again refuted some of the old 
objections ; arguing from statistics, and with Lord 
Brassey's support, that the Canadian Atlantic route 
was no more dangerous on account of fogs and ice 
than the American one ; and urging the Imperial 
advantages of having a safe route for food supplies in 
war, more fast ships for auxiliary cruisers, and a 
secure passage for military reinforcements to China 
and India. The proposed service would land the New 

1 House of Commons, Aug. 1907 (15th to 22nd). 
* Times, Dec. 4, 1907. 



352 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Zealand mails in twenty-five days. In the course of 
the discussion Mr. W. P. Beeves, then High Com- 
missioner for New Zealand, described the notion that 
the Panama route might supersede the Canadian 1 
as " one of the illusions fostered by maps on Mercator's 
projection " ; while Captain Collins, in behalf of the 
Australian Government, recalled the proviso about 
" reasonable cost " in the Resolution passed by the 
Imperial Conference. 

Ireland's Ireland's Imperial enthusiasm had been thoroughly 

missionto aroused ; one of the alternative proposals being that 
the Atlantic service should start from Blacksod Bay, 
a good harbour on the coast of Galway, whence it 
was estimated that the passage to Halifax would be 
only 3 days. There was to be a train-ferry across 
St. George's Channel. The Government were induced 
to promise assistance for the necessary railway ex- 
tension and harbour works on the Atlantic side. Mr. 
Birrell, Secretary of State for Ireland, waxed eloquent 
over the idea at the Dominion Day banquet. 2 In 
December 1907 a deputation of Irishmen, including 
representatives of the Parliamentary Party, visited 
Ottawa ; and told Sir Wilfrid Laurier that any scheme 
side-tracking Ireland would not be allowed to pass the 
British Parliament. The Canadian Premier enter- 
tained them to luncheon ; but explained 3 that the 
question was economic simply, not political or senti- 
mental, and that the question of a port would have to 
be decided on purely economic grounds. Sir Thomas 
Shaughnessy, the President of the C.P.R., 4 was 

1 The distance from Liverpool to Auckland via the Panama Canal would 
be about 11,300 miles as against about 12,300 via Halifax and Vancouver ; but 
the Panama service would be all sea, therefore slower, especially through the 
56 miles of canal, which also would be expensive. 

2 Canadian Gazette, July 11, 1907. 3 Morning Post, Dec. 9, 1S07. 

4 IMd., Dec. 10. In conjunction with the Allan Line the C.P.R. was 
receiving 110,000 a year under a mail contract with the Dominion Govern- 
ment. 



l)L'\i:L<>l'ML\T I I'M). AM) ALL Kill) U<)ITL :{.->:* 

not so sympathetic to the Irishmen as he was sub- 
sequently when they came to ask for American and 
Canadian contributions to the Home Rule campaign 
fund. He politely scouted the idea of any such 
transhipment being practicable in connection with a 
fast passenger service, and pointed out how it would 
impede the provision of cheap passages for emigrants ; l 
which was one of the Australasian aims in supporting 
the proposal. In general, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy 
regarded the All-Red scheme as commercially im- 
possible in respect of the speed proposed ; holding that 
the only sound policy was that of the existing com- 
panies, who were accelerating and improving the 
service gradually as the demand developed. 

It soon became manifest, indeed, that every exist- Opposition 
ing shipping company on the proposed route was i 
working against the scheme in any form under which 
any company other than itself might get the contract. 
The C.P.R., having control of the only transconti- 
nental line of railway, was in an exceptionally strong 
position ; but the Canadian Government seem to have 
felt that by the time the ships were ready they would 
be able to fall back on the new Grand Trunk Pacific, 2 
which they were assisting, as a lever for securing 
satisfactory arrangements in connection with the 
through mail service. The " expert " opposition was 
not coming from the Atlantic shipping interests only. 
At the annual general meeting 8 of the P. & O. Com- 
pany the chairman, Sir Thomas Sutherland, after 
bewailing the new competition of Japanese vessels in 
the cotton-carrying trade from India, described the 
All-Red proposition as " another nail in our coffin " ; 
though he went on to state, with good evidence, 

1 Canadian Gazette, June 1 1 , 1908. 

2 At this time the Grand Trunk Pacific was intended to be completed 
in 1911. 

3 Dec. 10, 1907. 

VOL. II Z 



354- IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

that the financial position of the Company had never 
been stronger. The proposed route was not, he 
objected, all British, because though some of its 
advocates disputed this it would be necessary for 
the ships to coal at Honolulu. He protested against 
the strategical arguments, declaring that in time of 
emergency his Company could easily transfer their 
mail steamers, if need be, to the Pacific route. 

About this time (Dec. 1907) another mare's nest 
was discovered in a report that the Canadian Govern- 
ment, incensed at the heavy duties on agricultural 
machinery in the new Australian tariff, had refused 
to renew the contract of the old Canadian- Australian 
line, which had passed from Messrs. Huddart to the 
Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, and had 
been keeping up a four-weekly service at a slow 
speed, taking over three weeks for the voyage from 
Vancouver to Sydney. The subsidy had been about 
66,000, of which Canada had contributed 37,000, 
Australia 26,000, and Fiji 2280. The truth was, 
it appears, that the Canadian Government wished to 
reconsider the matter in connection with the All-Red 
scheme ; but in the course of 1908 the contract was 
temporarily renewed on the old basis. 

siftonex- In March 1908 Mr. Sifton explained to the 
scheme. Canadian House of Commons the part he had lately 
taken in the negotiations with the British Govern- 
ment. Much of the opposition, he stated, came from 
the underwriters, and was based on ideas of the 
dangers of the Canadian- Atlantic route which the 
actual statistics of fog and disaster showed to be 
greatly exaggerated. The subsidy required for a 
2 4 -knot weekly service on the Atlantic and a fort- 
nightly service (apparently at 20 knots) on the Pacific 
would be 1,000,000 a year, which would be allo- 
cated as follows : Australia, 75,000 ; New Zealand, 



DEVELOPMENT FUND, AND ALL-HMD Horn 

100,000 ; Canada, 325,000 ; and Britain, 500,000. 
New Zealand was favourable, but the others had yet 
t l>e heard from. He believed, from his interview 
with Mr. Lloyd George, that the British Government 
were only waiting for a "joint representation" from 
these Dominions in behalf of a "definite proposi- 
tion " to take up the project in earnest. He hoped 
that the three transcontinental railroad companies 
of Canada (the Canadian-Pacific, Grand Trunk, and 
Canadian Northern) would combine to make the 
scheme a success, so that Canada might be " placed 
on a thoroughfare instead of remaining in a side . 
street." 

It will be observed how faithfully the resistance History 
to the scheme was following the lines of the former [Self! m 
resistance to the Pacific cable, of which the story 
has already been told. Besides the "expert" ob- 
jections of very formidable vested interests, the 
British bureaucracy, whose traditional sympathies are 
with those interests and against the innovations of 
Imperial partnership, were again employing the old 
tactics of the vicious circle. In refusing to commit 
themselves until the Colonial Governments could 
jointly produce a " definite scheme " with a definite 
list of their respective contributions they were effec- 
tively blocking the way ; since it was very difficult 
for the Dominions to apportion the expense among 
themselves until they knew how far Britain would be 
prepared to assist. 

Another Irish deputation, including Sir Horace The wsh 
Plunkett, Mr. Walter Long, and Mr. Redmond, was 
introduced by Mr. Birrell to Mr. Churchill (now 
President of the Board of Trade) on June 22nd, 
in behalf of the Blacksod scheme. 1 Admitting that 
there had been a long delay, Mr. Churchill pleaded 

1 Morning Pott, June 23,'. 1908. 



356 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

that the matter was one of great complexity, involv- 
ing " constant reference to Governments at the other 
end of the world." The committee, he intimated, 
had as yet come to no decision at all. From a com- 
mercial point of view he recognised the serious objec- 
tions to making Ireland a link in the route ; but (as 
if criticising Sir Wilfrid Laurier's contrary state- 
ment) this scheme was primarily a sentimental 
one and, he agreed, "the claims of Ireland to be 
included in any such scheme, from the point of view 
of sentiment, are very great indeed." Speaking for 
himself, his interest in the scheme would be greatly 
diminished if not entirely destroyed if Ireland were 
excluded from its scope ; whereas if Ireland were 
included, " you would have, as it were, all the pearls 
on one thread." "It is quite possible," he concluded, 
"that our investigations will not come to any fruitful 
or practical result," but in any case " the Irish aspect 
will bulk very largely." 

In Canada Sir Wilfrid Laurier made an effort to 
meet the vicious-circle stipulation of the British 
Government. On July 9th he moved a resolution 
in Parliament, reciting the resolution of the Imperial 
Conference and continuing : 

" That it is desirable that steps should be taken 
with all convenient speed to achieve the results 
aimed at by the said resolution: that this house 
hereby endorse the terms of the said resolution and 
affirm that Canada is prepared to assume her fair 
share of the necessary financial obligations, and that 
in the opinion of this House the Governments of 
Australia, Canada, and New Zealand should, with as 
little delay as possible, agree upon a definite plan 
for carrying into effect the terms of the resolution 
of the Imperial Conference, to be submitted for con- 
sideration to the Imperial and Colonial Parliament." 



l)i:\T.!.<>l'Mi:\T MM). AM) AM, HKI) KOITI 

His speech seemed to indicate a considerable descent 
iVoni the ambitious scale of the original proposal. 
It might not be advisable, he suggested, to subsidise 
Atlantic steamers so large or fast as the new Cunarders, 
but rather a fleet of 20 to 21 knot boats. As to the 
Pacific, they were still "quite in the dark." With 
21 -knot boats on the Atlantic and 18-knot boats on the 
Pacific, the time to Auckland would be 26 days from 
Liverpool, and another three on to Sydney. But he 
thought that in order to satisfy Australia the Pacific 
service would have to be 20 knots. The Government 
were asking only for authority to negotiate, nothing 
more. So far New Zealand alone had made a definite 
offer 100,000. He referred also to the China and 
Japan service from Vancouver, which he said was too 
slow. In this connection it may here be mentioned 
that the Canadian Pacific had obtained a renewal of The c. p. R. 
its mail contract with the British Government at a re- 
duction of 25 per cent, in the subsidy (45,000 instead 
of 60,000). Questioned in the House, 1 the British 
Postmaster-General stated that the time to Shanghai 
was twenty days via Siberia, and twenty-seven to 
twenty-eight via Vancouver. In the summer of 1908 
an interesting "race" took place, to test the value 
of different trans-American routes for the convey- 
ance of silk to Europe. Leaving Yokohama on 
July 21st, the Canadian boat Monteagle reached 
Vancouver on August 4th, the Japanese Tosa Maru 
reached Seattle on the 6th, and the Pacific Mail Co.'s 
China reached San Francisco on the 7th. Thus the 
Canadian consignment was easily first at New 
York. 2 

But in Canada, hitherto a unit in favour of 
the All-Ked project, the question was now being 

1 July 24, 1907. 
* Canadian Gazette, Aug. 27, 1908. 



358 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Canadian made a party one. 1 Mr. Foster, the Conservative 

ives n ex-Minister of Finance, chided the Government for 

AiF-Red having broken off the negotiations completed by 

scheme. their pre( jecessors 2 in 18 g 6 f or a 20-knot Atlantic 

service at a subsidy of only 125,000 a year (plus 
75,000 from Britain). New Zealand's offer in 1907, 
he pointed out, had been made conditionally upon the 
Pacific passage being reduced to 13 days. The Op- 
position leader, Mr. Borden, complained that the in- 
terests of the farmers had been overlooked. Cheaper 
freights and cold storage were nationally of greater 
importance than quicker transport of passengers and 
mails. Seeing that the speed on the Canadian- Atlan- 
tic route had already reached 18 knots, might they 
not expect it in due course to reach 20 or 21 by a 
natural development ? Nor could Canada face these 
expenditures with the enormous bill, 38,000,000, 
for the national transcontinental railway (the Grand 
Trunk Pacific) coming on for payment. Accordingly 
he moved an amendment, expressing " sympathy with 
the aims of the resolution," but reciting the objections 
indicated and reserving to Parliament the right to 
sanction any contract that might be proposed. The 
amendment was defeated and the Government motion 
carried. 

Renewed On July 31st, Sir Joseph Ward suggested to his 
British 7 ' Parliament that New Zealand should be willing to 

T "V- 1 

pay 75,000 a year for an 18-knot Pacific line, as part 
of an all-red arrangement with Canada, Australia, and 

1 The Opposition seem to have been irritated by the somewhat bombastic 
manner in which Sir Wilfrid Laurier had referred to the project. For example, 
replying to an address of welcome on his return at Quebec (July 19, 1907), he 
is reported to have said : " During the last days of the Conference I announced 
the new idea, which has become almost historic, the All-Red Line." This, of 
course, was absurd ; seeing that the Conservative Government had introduced 
the proposal at the Ottawa Conference of 1894, and had made considerable 
progress with it while their opportunity lasted. 

2 (?/. vol. i. p. 216. 



Di-;\ i:L<>r\n:\T FUND, A\D Ai.i.ui'.i) KOI i 

Britain. 1 But these faint symptoms of a ix>8sil>ility 
that the scheme in a humble form might yet materialise 
revived the alarm of the British anti-Imperialists. In 
order to assuage their anxiety Mr. Asquith (now 
Prime Minister) stated that the committee was still 
sitting, and "if on examination any such scheme is 
found to be practicable, no arrangement would be 
binding until approved by the House of Commons." ' 

In September the Canadian Government sent Canadian 
their Deputy Postmaster-General, Mr. Coulter, on a A^S- 
mission to Australia, where Mr. Deakin was still iu 
Prime Minister. Nothing more seems to have 
been heard until the following spring (1909). In 
April a report that the Commonwealth would " send 
a representative to attend the Conference which is to 
discuss the advisability of establishing an All-Red 
mail route" was at once met by the Colonial Office 
with a statement 3 that it had no knowledge of 
any such conference having been arranged. It be- 
lieved that the Canadian envoy, having met with 
a discouraging reception in Australia, went on to 
New Zealand ; but in any case " the Imperial Govern- 
ment is awaiting definite proposals from Canada, 
Australia, and New Zealand." To a suggestion that 
the matter might be brought before the Defence 
Conference which was summoned in that summer, 
Mr. Churchill replied that it would be outside the 
scope of the Conference, though " perhaps some op- 
portunity for informal discussion " might occur. 4 

The end was at hand. In October 1909 SirDeathof 
Joseph Ward told an interviewer 5 that the original Red 
idea of obtaining a fast service on both sides of 
Canada had been "practically abandoned"; explain- 
ing that they had not overcome the old difficulty of 

1 July 30, 1908. 2 July 9, 30, 1908. * Morning Post, April 17. 1909. 

* House of Commons, July 13, 1909. Oct. 2, 1909. 



360 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Brisbane being a port of call on the Canada-Aus- 
tralia route, which precluded the inclusion of a New 
Zealand port. The remaining alternatives for New 
Zealand were, he said, either to subsidise a fast con- 
nection with Fiji, where the Canada- Australia ships 
would always call, or to arrange with Canada for them 
to come on from Sydney. So the vicious circle, long 
ago invented in Downing Street for strangling Im- 
perial Partnership, had again proved an effective noose. 
Meanwhile (in January 1909) the New Zealand 
Government had arranged a five- weekly service to and 
from Papeete (Tahiti), where a connection was effected 
by American boats with San Francisco. By this route 
the through journey to London from New Zealand 
took about 36 days. 1 

Growth During these years there were sufficient signs of 

between expansion in the trade between Canada and Aus- 
andAus- tralasia to justify a considerable extension of cargo 
services. For some years past a bi-monthly service 
of " tramps " between Canada and New Zealand had 
been maintained, each Government contributing 
10,000 in subsidy. 2 Several companies had turned 
their attention to the trade with Australia, the 
principal exchange being Australian coal for British- 
Columbian pine. Early in 1910 a regular monthly 
service was instituted by the C.P.R and the New 
Zealand Shipping Company between Atlantic ports of 
Canada and Australia and New Zealand, via Teneriffe 
and the Cape, at a subsidy of 24,000, with a view 
to diverting some of the Australasian trade from New 
York. It was not thought that this service would 
seriously interfere with those on the Pacific, which 
would continue to handle the Australasian trade with 
the western part of Canada. Though the primary 
idea of the All-Bed proposition had been that of a 

i New Zealand P.-M.-G.'s Report, 1910, pp. vii-xx. 2 R., p. 575. 



nr.VKI.ni'MF.NT FI'M), AND AU.-UF.I) ROUTE 

mail service only, the mail steamers would have 
been available for carrying cargo between Canada and 
Britain and between Canada and Australasia. This 
aspect was not ignored in the course of the ill-fated 
negotiations. 

Early in the present year (1911), with another Canada- 
session of the Imperial Conference approaching, there miiH 
were signs of an attempt to revive the strangled " 
scheme of 1907. At the instance of New Zealand 
and Newfoundland the " All-Red Route," now offi- 
cially so termed, appeared again in the proposed 
agenda for the approaching session of the Conference. 
In February it was reported that an All-Red Route 
Syndicate was proposing to furnish a Pacific service 
of not less than 18 knots, using oil fuel possibly 
in order to avert the necessity of coaling at the 
foreign port of Honolulu. Soon afterwards it was 
reported 1 that a contract had been concluded by 
Canada and New Zealand with the Union Steamship 
Company of New Zealand, under which the Company, 
abandoning the Vancouver - Brisbane - Sydney mail 
service at the expiration of its term, would establish 
instead a mail service between Vancouver and 
Auckland. The subsidy was stated to be 57,000 a 
year, and the new monthly service was to begin on 
August 1st. According to the report the Labour 
Government in Australia under Mr. Fisher could not 
consent to join in any arrangement by which the 
Canadian boats would come round and go back by 
New Zealand, because this would give the nearer 
Dominion an advantage in competition against 
Australia for the Canadian trade ; especially as New 
Zealand, unlike Australia, had a reciprocal tariff 
arrangement with Canada. Recent attempts to 
arrange mutual preference between Australia and 

1 Time*, March 2nd, 1911. 



362 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Canada and also between Australia and New Zealand 
had again failed. But" a little later it was reported l 
that proposals were being considered for a 22-knot 
service between Australia and New Zealand, in order 
to reduce the passage to 2|- days and to compete 
with the Lascar-manned boats of the P. & 0. (to 
which the Labour Government have not minimised 
the Australasian objection). 

Was A matter of speculation was how the new pro- 

c^nadjf- y posals of reciprocity between Canada and the United 
Reci- A ' States might affect the situation. If, as the Cana- 
procity. di an Government had seemed to imply, the re- 
duction or abolition of duties on natural products 
from the States would extend to importations from 
Australasia as well, the Australasian trade with 
Canada might be stimulated. On the other hand it 
was argued that the loss of the opportunity of pre- 
ference for Imperial products of this class would be 
a severe blow to the prospects of Australasian com- 
petition against the United States in Canada. 
Suez Canai The Suez Canal (reduction of dues) proposition 
BritLh shared the fate of the All-Red proposal ; but the 
ment" 1 British Government were able to shelve it more 
' quietly. In reply to a question asked on July 23rd, 
1908, Colonel Seeley (Under-Secretary for the 
Colonies) admitted that representations had lately 
been received from the Commonwealth. But as for 
doing anything, " the matter was being considered by 
the Government and would not be overlooked." It 
was discussed fitfully in the press. The following 
editorial illustrates some aspects of it : 

The Canal " The annual report of the P. & 0. Company 

enables us to get some idea of the extent to which 
the shipping companies are penalised by the Suez 

1 Times, March 8th, 1911. 



Dl'AT.l.OlVMI'AT ITM), AM) AI.I.KK!) Horn. 

Canal Company in excessive dues. For the year 
ending September 1907 the P. & O. Company paid 
in canal dues on ships and passengers the sum 
of 333,000, 17s. 5d. This extortion can be seen 
in its true light when it is at the same time noted 
that for the year the item 'Pay of commanders, 
officers, and crews' is set down at 324,163, 18s. 9d. 
From these figures we see that for the privilege of 
passing through the Canal the company had in the 
course of a year to pay a larger sum than it paid to 
man its fleet from the captain's bridge to the stoke- 
hole. What these charges mean is further indicated 
by another set of figures published by the P. & 0. 
Company. It appears that for the three years ended 
September 30th last the company's net postal subsidy 
amounted to 997,158. During the same years the 
company paid in canal dues 984,275. Consequently, 
were the Canal toll free, the company could afford 
to carry the mails for nothing. As we have pointed 
out in previous issues, 78 per cent, of the mercantile 
shipping, on the basis of net tonnage, passing through 
the Canal is British; nearly half the stock belongs 
to the nation, and a corresponding share of the huge 
dividends goes into the British exchequer. The Canal 
represents one of the worst monopolies in existence 
in the matter of the restriction of trade, and a demand 
for a limitation of the evil is wholly justifiable. (The 
British Australasian, Sept. 10, 1908.) 

In August 1910 ; the Australian Government, British 
questioned in Parliament, undertook to take the owners- 
subject up again with the British authorities at the gr 
next session of the Imperial Conference. Some in- 
teresting particulars were given by the Morning Post. 1 
It seems that among British shipowners the belief 
prevails that in 1883 M. de Lesseps promised that 
when the Canal Company was able to declare a 
dividend of 18 per cent, half the surplus would be 

1 Oct. 18, 1910. 



364 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

applied in reduction of tolls ; and when the dividend 
reached 25 per cent, the whole of the surplus would 
be so applied, until the tolls were reduced to 5 
francs per ton. But though the dividend now ranges 
between 25 and 30 per cent, the only reduction so far 
made is half a franc a ton, coming into force on 
January 1st, 1911; and the rate still remains at 7^francs. 
In British shipping circles, according to the same 
authority, it is felt that the British Government are 
playing a culpable part. The shares cost 3,976,582 
when Lord Beaconsfield secured them for the country 
in 1875; the dividend thereon is now at the rate 
of well over 1,000,000 a year ; and the difference 
between this income and 3 or 4 per cent, on the 
capital invested is regarded as a usurious exaction 
(at least in so far as British shipping is affected) which 
ought to be repaid in the form of a refund of tolls. 
It is alleged that while the Board of Trade is favour- 
ably disposed, the Treasury will not let go of the 
revenue ; and the Foreign Office backs the Treasury 
for fear of offending France. In 1909 the total 
tonnage passing through the Canal was 15,407,500, 
to which the following companies were the largest 
contributors, five out of the nine being British : 
Peninsular and Oriental Co., 1,157,100 tons; Messrs. 
Holt & Co., 964,300; the Ellerman Lines, 954,000; 
the Hansa Line, 787,900 ; the Messageries Maritimes, 
563,500; North German Lloyd, 542,900; Cayzer, 
Irvine & Co., 427,900 ; British India S.N. Co., 422,100 ; 
Hamburg- American Co., 404,800. These firms include 
five British, three German, and one French. For a 
long time the British shipowners were alone in 
agitating for a reduction of charges ; but lately the 
German and Dutch shipowners have joined in. One 
difficulty is that the original concession of the Canal 
Company does not expire until 1968 ; and lately the 



l)i:\ Kl.ni'Mr.NT ITM). AM) AI.I.-UKI) ROUTE 

Egyptian assembly refused to sanction an immediate 
revision of the bargain, their idea being that the 
<|U(!stion ought to be held over in the interests of 
Egyptians." 



In such fashion had the British Government made imperial 
good their professed eagerness to co-operate in " other men! iftn 
\\ays" than that of reciprocal Preference for the pro- n( 
motion of trade within the Empire. 1 Surely the facts 
narrated in this chapter, following the history of the 
Pacific cable, point with sufficient emphasis to the 
necessity of some such plan as Mr. Deakin's scheme 
of a Development Fund and Commissioners if any 
substantial advance is to be made at any reason- 
able rate of progress towards the practical realisation 
of aims to which all the partner Governments have 
protested their devotion. The Pacific cable did, in- 
deed, survive the travail and emerge into life. But 
the circumstances were exceptional. To begin with, 
since branch cables are practically as useful as trunk 
lines, the rivalry of routes e.g. as between Australia 
and New Zealand does not arise as in the case of 
steamship lines. Secondly, and perhaps even more 
important to the issue, the Pacific cable had the 
services of Sir Sandford Fleming, whose unflagging 
devotion and energy saved it at successive crises over 
a dozen years or more. Vested interests, formidable 
though they are where cables are concerned, are 
even more formidable because more various in con- 
nection with steamship projects. Apart from the 
rivalries of the shipping companies themselves, there 
is the rivalry of terminal ports. When the All-Red 
project was to the fore, Milford Haven, Plymouth, 

1 The appointment of British Trade Commissioners in the principal self- 
governing Dominions, in the interests of the British oxport trade, seems to 
represent the total of their achievement. Cf. Cd. 5273 (of 1910). 



366 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Southampton, and Bristol were all challenging the 
claims of Liverpool. In connection with any such 
projects there will always be two main classes of 
political difficulty, even assuming a genuine eagerness 
of all the Governments. First, there will be the 
opposition of commercial vested interests, and the 
competing claims of different companies or corpora- 
tions for the profit in view. Secondly, there will be 
the demand of each participating democracy to be 
assured that, as compared with the other partners, it 
is getting proportionate value for the share of expense 
which it is asked to assume. To overcome either of 
these difficulties, and a fortiori to overcome them 
together, seems to be a task calling for a separate 
Imperial board, constituted for these purposes alone, 
like the Development Commissioners of Britain. And 
to overcome the second difficulty, the inter-State 
rivalry, there seems to be no expedient hitherto 
suggested so promising as that of a Development 
Fund on the British model. To get the partner 
nations to agree to create such a fund would surely 
be easier than to get them to agree in advance, by 
the hopeless method of the vicious circle, to unite for 
the purpose of any single scheme. Each has its pet 
scheme ; and each might accept the device of a 
Development Fund as a promising speculation for 
getting its pet scheme carried out ; the direct method 
being by this time a proved failure. Once the Fund 
were established, each would sooner see the money 
used, even if its own scheme were not the first to 
be taken in hand, rather than watch its contribution 
" rolling up " indefinitely. The safeguard suggested 
by Mr. Deakin, that every scheme prepared by the 
Commissioners should be submitted for approval to 
each of the Parliaments debited with a contribution 
thereto, would surely be ample. 



I)i:\ l.I.OPMENT I'l'Nl), AM) ALI.-RKI) ROUTE 367 

( )nly, in this matter as in that of the Secretariat, D*akin' 
Mr. Deakin seems to have prejudiced his proposal t,*. 

. . n /, ambitioin. 

by suggesting more than was really necessary tor a 
first step. He suggested a certain standard of con- 
tribution to the Fund, viz. the equivalent of so much 
IMT cent, on the value of foreign imports. Perhaps 
it would have sufficed, for a beginning, to propose 
that each country should fix its own quota ; since 
the reservation of a power of veto or revision to each 
partner in respect of any particular project seems to 
do away with much of the obvious reason for having 
a standard or uniform basis of contribution. 

Yet, if sooner or later there would have to be a Deveiop- 
standard basis, the one proposed by Mr. Deakin, ^cTreci 1 -" 
following Mr. Hofmeyr, seems at least as practical pr 
as any other. To the extent that foreign imports 
include foreign luxuries it recognises what has else- 
where been described in this work as the distinction 
between " earned " and " unearned " revenues, and 
the principle of equality of sacrifice. If, again, the 
Hofmeyr standard taxes too heavily any partner who 
has an abnormally large proportion of foreign imports, 
as compared with Imperial imports, the remedy lies 
in that partner's own hands, i.e. by taking measures 
to alter the preponderance of foreign over Imperial 
imports. In this way the Hofmeyr basis for the 
Imperial Development Fund would fit in with and 
reinforce the system of Imperial Reciprocity. But 
there is a further connection between the two policies. 
The motive to co-operation in the improvement, of 
maritime communications is seen largely to depend 
for its vigour upon the adoption of the general 
principle of mutual preference, of which the most 
popular and palpable expression is tariff reciprocity. 
Whereas the members of the Imperial Conference, 
lacking fiscal reciprocity, failed to arrange the All- 



368 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE, 1907 

Red mail service, an agreement to facilitate railway 
communications by means of a joint Commission was 
the natural corollary to the recent agreement of 
fiscal reciprocity between Canada and the United 
States. New Zealand, again, having an arrangement 
of mutual preference with Canada, had a motive for 
promoting the All-Red service which Australia, lack- 
ing a similar reciprocal arrangement, did not feel. 
Manifestly, therefore, Imperial projects for improving 
the maritime communications of the Empire are by 
nature subsidiary to the policy of Imperial reciprocity ; 
instead of having an independent basis or being in 
any sense a substitute. 



APPENDICES 

APPENDIX J 

PREFERENCES ENACTED, 1902-1907 

[For previous history of the British Preference in Canada, ef. 
App. 11 to vol. i.] 

The following is quoted from the Board of Trade's Summary, in 
Papers laid before the Conference in 1907, Cd. 3524, pp. 319-323. 
Kxhuustive figures are given in these Papers. 

" 1 . In view of the refusal of Germany to accord ' most- Canada, 
favoured-nation ' treatment to Canadian products, German 
goods have from April 17th, 1903, been subjected to a 
surtax of one-third of the general rate of duty. 

" 2. The South African Colonies, forming the South South 
African Customs Union, first granted preferential treatment A 
to United Kingdom goods, under the Customs Union Con- 
vention of 1903, which came into force on August 15th 
of that year. The preference was extended to Canadian 
goods on July 1st, 1904. 

" The preference accorded under that Convention to 
United Kingdom and Canadian goods was revised from 
May 1906, by the superseding Convention of that year, 
and a few months later both Australian and New Zealand 
products were admitted to the benefits of the preference. 

" 3. The New Zealand Government, under the ' Pre- New 
ferential and Reciprocal Trade Act' of 1903 which came 
into force on November 16th of that year granted prefer- 
ence to certain goods, the growth, produce, or manufacture 
of some part of the British dominions, by imposing additional 
rates of duty on similar goods produced in foreign countries, 
the duties on British goods remaining unchanged. 

"On January 1st, 1907, the Government entered into a 
reciprocal agreement with the South African Colonies, and 
VOL. II M9 2 A 



370 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

granted a preference to all South African products except 
spirits. 

" A proposed reciprocal agreement between New Zealand 
and Australia was not ratified by the former Government, 
as, according to a report issued thereon on October 2nd, 
1906, the advantages accruing to New Zealand from the 
agreement would be outweighed by the sacrifices involved. 
Australia. " 4. A Resolution was proposed in the Commonwealth 
Parliament on the 30th August 1906, with the object of 
according preferential treatment to United Kingdom goods, 
and a Bill subsequently passed for this purpose was eventu- 
ally reserved by the Governor-General for the signification 
of His Majesty's pleasure, in consequence of the condition 
which it incorporated, that the goods should be imported 
in ' British ships manned by white labour,' being inconsistent 
with treaties by which some or all of the Australian Colonies 
were bound. 

" A Resolution to extend reciprocal treatment to certain 
New Zealand products, in accordance with an agreement 
between the New Zealand and Australian Governments, was 
also introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament on the 
same date (August 30th, 1906), but the agreement was not 
ratified by the New Zealand Government (see above). 

" The Australian Commonwealth, on 1st October 1906, 
extended preferential treatment to certain South African 
products, reciprocal privileges being granted at the same 
time to Australian products on importation into South 
Africa. 

inter- "5. ... Preferential treatment is at present accorded to 

d^erentia- United Kingdom goods in the Dominion of Canada, South 

tion. Africa, and New Zealand, but such goods do not enjoy in 

Australia or New Zealand the benefit of the preference 

accorded by the Colonies to South Africa. The preference 

proposed by the Australian Commonwealth Government to 

United Kingdom products has not as yet been brought into 

force. 

Compari- The Canadian and South African preferential rates are 

Prefer- applicable to practically all dutiable goods imported, whereas 
in New Zealand the preference accorded to United Kingdom 
products is confined to certain classes of goods only. 



ences. 



IMir.l-T.Ur.MT.S. 1!)0<>-07 .'571 

" G. Speaking generally, the rate of preference allowed in 
Canada varies from 2J per cent, to 15 per cent, ad valorem, 
with :m average of about 10 per cent, ad valorem in favour 
of British goods ; in South Africa it is equivalent to about 
3 per cent, ad valorem, and in New Zealand from 1 per cent, 
to 20 per cent, ad valorem on the classes of goods to which 
preference is accorded. 

" 7. It is found, however, after making allowance for the 
preference, that the actual rates of duty leviable on the 
principal classes of British goods are, on the whole, higher 
in Canada than they are in New Zealand, and much higher 
than they are in South Africa. . . . 

" 8. The total trade of Canada with all countries is much Peculiar 
greater than that of South Africa, New Zealand, or Australia, in Canada. 
but partly owing to the proximity of the United States, the 
proportion of the imports from the United Kingdom into 
the Dominion of Canada is considerably less than it is in 
the case of the other Colonies, and the actual value of these 
imports is less than the imports from the United Kingdom 
into either Australia or South Africa. 

" The imports from the United Kingdom into Canada 
amounted to about 24 per cent. ; into both South Africa 
and New Zealand 6 2 per cent. ; and into Australia G 3 per 
cent, of the total value of imports into those Colonies during 
the year 1905. . . . 

" 9. Some idea may be formed of the respective values Varying 
of the preference granted to British goods if we ascertain p^e'r- 
the proportion of goods that actually received the benefits of ence - 
tho preferential tariffs. . . . According to the latest returns 
it is found that 66 per cent, of the imports into Canada 
from the United Kingdom were accorded preferential rates 
of duty, whilst in New Zealand such imports amounted to 
20 per cent. Of the total imports from all quarters 19 per 
cent, were accorded preference in Canada, and 16 per cent, 
in New Zealand. . . . 

" Complete returns for South Africa for 1905 are not yet 
available ; but taking the Cape returns for that year as form- 
ing a fair estimate of South African trade, we find that 84 
per cent, of the imports into Cape Colony from the United 
Kingdom were of that class of articles which would have 



372 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

been affected by the preferential treatment of British goods, 
had the present Customs Union Convention been then in 
force. . . . Preference is at present confined to goods the 
produce of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New 
Zealand, and it is found that the imports into Cape Colony 
from these countries of a class entitled to preferential treat- 
ment amounted to about 61 per cent, of the total imports 
into that Colony in 1905. . . . 

" Turning to the Australian Commonwealth, it may be 
stated that if the proposal to accord preferential treatment 
to United Kingdom goods had been in force in 1905, about 
8 per cent, (or somewhat less had the proviso respecting 
importation in British ships also been in force) of the imports 
of United Kingdom products (or a little over 4 per cent, of 
the total imports from all countries) would have received 
the benefits of the preferential tariff that year. 
Effects of "10. ... Preference is not yet accorded to British goods 

l^rcfGroncG 

on trade, by Australia, while as regards South Africa and New Zealand 
it is of so recent a date that its effect upon trade cannot 
satisfactorily be measured. As regards Canada 1 it appears 
. . . that prior to the grant of preference to British goods 
exclusively in 1898, the relative proportion of the total 
imports into Canada from the United Kingdom had for 
many years continuously declined. Since the grant of 
preference that decline has been checked. 

"11. Summarising the general results of the operation 
of the preferences accorded, it would appear that preferential 
treatment was granted to goods of United Kingdom or 
Colonial manufacture to the extent of 11 millions sterling 
in Canada, 2 millions in New Zealand, and about 11 millions 
in Cape Colony in 1905." 

ofdut nts ^ e Board f Trade goes on to estimate that preference 

remitted, meant in Canada a rebate of 780,000 a year in customs 
duty on the British imports affected, and a rebate of about 
300,000 in Cape Colony (not the S.A.C.U.). It estimated 
that the New Zealand preference meant an addition of 
64,000 to the duties levied on foreign goods for the pur- 
pose of preference, and that under the abortive Australian 
proposal the corresponding amount would be 90,000. It 

1 Cf. the Canadian official view, vol. i. p. 356. 



seems, however, that for the purpose of intercolonial com- 
parison the additional burdens thus imposed on foreign 
goods in tho Australasian Colonies should be translated into 
terms of rebate granted on the British goods, which, without 
tin- preference, might have had to pay the higher rates of 
duty under a revised general tariff'. From the particulars 
IT i von in these Papers it would appear that, on the Canadian 
and South African basis, the Australian rebate would have 
been about 150,000 and the New Zealand rebate about 
1193,000. 



APPENDIX K 

RESOLUTIONS OF THE IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 
ARRANGED ACCORDING TO SUBJECT AND SESSION 

NOTE. A tt the Resolutions were passed unanimously except where 
otherwise stated. 

POLITICAL RELATIONS 

" That in the business of this Conference the voting 
shall be by Colonies." 

" That the Chairman be requested to forward the resolu- Conference 
tions and proceedings of this Conference to the Right chairman! 
Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and to 
the Premiers of the Colonies represented ; and to take such 
steps as may be necessary for calling continued attention 
thereto." 

" That if the words ' Australasian Colonies ' be used in Conference 
any motions or amendments that may be brought before ^ 
this Conference they shall mean the Colonies of Australasia 
and the Colony of New Zealand." 



" 1. The Prime Ministers here assembled are of opinion 
that the present political relations between the United 



374 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

Existing Kingdom and the self-governing Colonies are generally 

satisfac- 8 satisfactory under the existing condition of things. 

tory. [M r , Seddon (N.Z.} and Sir Edward Braddon (Tas.) 

dissented.] 

Local " 2. They are also of opinion that it is desirable, when- 

federation. eyer an( j w h erever practicable, to group together under 
a federal union those colonies which are geographically 
united. 

Periodical " 3. Meanwhile, the Premiers are of opinion that it would 
ferences be desirable to hold periodical conferences of representa- 
tives of the Colonies and Great Britain for the discussion of 
matters of common interest." 



1902. " That it would be to the advantage of the Empire if 

Conference Conferences were held, as far as practicable, at intervals not 

constitu- 1-1 . f , 

tion and exceeding four years, at which questions ol common interest 
period. affecting the relations of the Mother Country and His 
Majesty's Dominions over the seas could be discussed and 
considered as between the Secretary of State for the Colonies 
and the Prime Ministers of the self-governing Colonies. 
The Secretary of State for the Colonies is requested to 
arrange for such Conferences after communication with the 
Prime Ministers of the respective Colonies. In case of any 
emergency arising upon which a special Conference may 
have been deemed necessary, the next ordinary Conference 
to be held not sooner than three years thereafter." 



1907. " That it will be to the advantage of the Empire if a 

Conference Conference, to be called the Imperial Conference, is held 

constitu- . ... 

tion and e very four years, at which questions of common interest 
' may be discussed and considered as between His Majesty's 
Government and His Governments of the self-governing 
Dominions beyond the seas. The Prime Minister of the 
United Kingdom will be ex-officio President, and the 
Prime Ministers of the self-governing Dominions ex~officio 
members of the Conference. The Secretary of State for 
the Colonies will be an ex-officio member of the Conference 
and will take the chair in the absence of the President. 
He will arrange for such Imperial Conferences after com- 



RESOLUTIONS 

inimical ion with the Prime Ministers of the respect 
Dominions. Such other Ministers as the respective Govern- Additional 
ments may appoint will also be members of the Conference anr" 1 " 
it being understood that, except by special permission of votin - 
the Conference, each discussion will be conducted by not 
more than two representatives from each Government, and 
that each Government will have only one vote. 

" That it is desirable to establish a system by which the Secro- 
several Governments represented shall be kept informed 
during the periods between the Conferences in regard to 
matters which have been or may be subjects for discussion, 
by means of a permanent secretarial staff', charged, under 
the direction of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
with the duty of obtaining information for the use of the 
Conference, of attending to its resolutions, and of conduct- 
ing correspondence on matters relating to its affairs. 

" That upon matters of importance requiring consultation subsidiary 
between two or more Governments which cannot conveni- 
ently be postponed until the next Conference, or involving 
subjects of a minor character or such as call for de- 
tailed consideration, subsidiary Conferences should be held 
between representatives of the Governments concerned 
specially chosen for the purpose." (No. I. of 1907.) 



TREATIES 

(Cf. under Trade Relations, infra.) 

" That so far as may be consistent with the confidential 1902. 
negotiations of Treaties with Foreign Powers, the views of Co . uui ~ 
the Colonies affected should be obtained in order that they prior to 
may be in a better position to give adhesion to such T 
Treaties." 



" That the Imperial Government be requested to prepare, 1907. 
for the information of Colonial Governments, statements Treaty 

i i "i fill i_i obliga- 

snowing the privileges conferred and the obligations im- 
posed on the Colonies by existing commercial treaties, and 
that inquiries be instituted to ascertain how far it is 
possible to make those obligations and benefits uniform 
throughout the Empire." (No. XI. of 1907.) 



376 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

TRADE RELATIONS 

1894. " That provision should be made by Imperial legislation 

Treaty enabling the dependencies of the Empire to enter into 

obstacles .. . , . . . L , ,. 

toPre- agreements of commercial reciprocity including power ot 
Trade!* 1 making differential tariffs, with Great Britain or with one 
another." 



" That this Conference is of opinion that any provisions 
in existing treaties between Great Britain and any foreign 
Power which prevent the self-governing dependencies of 
the Empire from entering into agreements of commercial 
reciprocity with each other or with Great Britain should 
be removed." 

Prefer- " Whereas the stability and progress of the British 

Trade. Empire can be best assured by drawing continually closer 

the bands that unite the Colonies with the Mother Country, 

and by the continuous growth of a practical sympathy and 

co-operation in all that pertains to the common welfare ; 

" And whereas this co-operation and unity can in no 
way be more effectually promoted than by the cultivation 
and extension of the mutual and profitable interchange of 
their products ; 

" Therefore resolved : * That this Conference records its 
belief in the advisability of a customs arrangement between 
Great Britain and her Colonies by which trade within the 
Empire may be placed on a more favourable footing than 
that which is carried on with foreign countries. 

(* This section carried with N.S.W., Q., and N.Z. dissenting.) 
inter- " Further resolved : That until the Mother Country can 

colonial , . . , -, 

Red- see her way to enter into customs arrangements with her 
procity. Colonies it is desirable that, when empowered so to do, the 
Colonies of Great Britain, or such of them as may be dis- 
posed to accede to this view, take steps to place each other's 
products in whole or in part on a more favoured customs 
basis than is accorded to the like products of foreign 
countries. 

s. African " Further resolved : That for the purposes of this 
Union? 8 resolution the South African Customs Union be considered 



as part of the territory capable of being brought within 
tho scope of the contemplated trade arrangements." 



" 1. That the Premiers of the self-governing Colonies 1397. 
unanimously and earnestly recommend the denunciation, Treaty 
;it the earliest convenient time, of any treaties which now to Prefer- 
hampcr the commercial relations between Great Britain ence ' 
and her Colonies. 

" 2. That in the hope of improving the trade relations Unilateral 
between the mother country and the Colonies, the Premiers 
present undertake to confer with their colleagues with 
the view to seeing whether such a result can be pro- 
perly secured by a preference given by the Colonies to the 
products of the United Kingdom." 



" 1. That this Conference recognises that the principle 1902. 
of preferential trade between the United Kingdom and His Prefer- 
Majesty's Dominions beyond the seas would stimulate and Trade. 
facilitate mutual commercial intercourse, and would, by 
promoting the development of the resources and industries 
of the several parts, strengthen the Empire. 

" 2. That this Conference recognises that, in the pre- Free Trade 
sent circumstances of the Colonies, it is not practicable 



to adopt a general system of Free Trade as between 
the Mother Country and the British Dominions beyond 
the seas. 

" 3. That with a view, however, to promoting the Unilateral 
increase of trade within the Empire, it is desirable that 
those Colonies which have not already adopted such a 
policy should, as far as their circumstances permit, give 
substantial preferential treatment to the products and 
manufacturers of the United Kingdom. 

" 4. That the Prime Ministers of the Colonies respect- imperial 
fully urge on His Majesty's Government the expediency 
of granting in the United Kingdom preferential treatment 
to the products and manufactures of the Colonies, either 
by exemption from or reduction of duties now or hereafter 
imposed. 

" 5. That the Prime Ministers present at the Confer- 



378 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

ence undertake to submit to their respective Governments 
at the earliest opportunity the principle of the resolution 
and to request them to take such measures as may be 
necessary to give effect to it." 



Govern- " That in all Government contracts, whether in the 

contracts case ^ ^e Colonial or the Imperial Governments, it is 
desirable that, as far as practicable, the products of the 
Empire should be preferred to the products of foreign 
countries. With a view to promoting this result it is 
suggested that where such contracts cannot be filled in 
the country in which the supplies are required, the fullest 
practicable notice of the requirements and of the conditions- 
of tender should be given both in the Colonies and the 
United Kingdom and that this notice should be com- 
municated through official channels as well as through 
the Press." 

Coastwise " That it is desirable that the attention of the Govern- 
ments of the Colonies and the United Kingdom should 
be called to the present state of the navigation laws in 
the Empire, and in other countries, and to the advisability 
of refusing the privileges of coastwise trade including trade 
between the Mother Country and its Colonies and Posses- 
sions, and between one Colony or Possession and another, 
to countries in which the corresponding trade is confined 
to ships of their own nationality and also to the laws 
affecting shipping, with a view of seeing whether any other 
steps should be taken to promote Imperial trade in British 
vessels." 

Metric " That it is advisable to adopt the metric system of 

system. we ights and measures for use within the Empire, and the 

Prime Ministers urge the Governments represented at this 

Conference to give consideration to the question of its early 

adoption." 

1907. The following Resolutions of the Conference of 1902 were 

Son*f ma " rea ffi rmed ty the Members of the Conference, with the exception 
1902 Re- of His Majesty's Government, who was unable to give its assent, 

solution. 



RESOLUTIONS 

so far as the Unitaf. /\'i>t</<lom was concerned, to a reaffir- 
mation of the Resolutions in so far as they inqdy that it is 
necessary or expedient to alter the fiscal system of the United 
Kingdom. 

(Here follows the 5-section Resolution of 1902, already 
quoted.) (No. VI. of 1907.) 



The following Resolution was agreed to by the members of Pref- 
th<- Conference, with the exception of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who existing 
was absent, and whose vote was not recorded, of General Jfotha, 
who did not support it, and of the representatives of His Majesty's 
Government, who dissented. 

"That while affirming the Resolution of 1902, this 
Conference is of opinion that, as the British Government, 
through the South African Customs Union which com- 
prises Basutoland and the Bechuanaland Protectorate 
do at present allow a preference against foreign countries 
to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, 
and all other British Possessions granting reciprocity, His 
Majesty's Government should now take into consideration 
the possibility of granting a like preference to all portions of 
the Empire on the present dutiable articles in the British 
tariff." (No. 7X0/1907.) 



" That all doubts should be removed as to the right of Pre - . 
the self-governing Dependencies to make reciprocal and trade and 
preferential fiscal agreements with each other and with 
the United Kingdom, and further, that such right should 
not be fettered by Imperial treaties or conventions without 
their concurrence." (No. XII. of 1907.) 



" That, without prejudice to the Resolutions already Fiscal 
accepted or the reservation of His Majesty's Government, ai 
this Conference, recognising the importance of promoting 
greater freedom and fuller development of commercial 
intercourse within the Empire, believes that these objects 
may be best secured by leaving to each part of the Empire 
liberty of action in selecting the most suitable means for 
attaining them, having regard to its own special conditions 



380 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

and requirements, and that every effort should be made to 
bring about co-operation in matters of mutual interest." 
(No. VII. 0/1907.) 



Coastwise Fh e following Ecsolution was agreed to by the members of 

the Conference, with the exception of His Majesty's Government, 
who dissented, in respect of the inclusion of the words dealing 
with trade between the Mother Country and the Colonies. 

" That the Resolution of the Conference of 1902, which 
was in the following terms, be reaffirmed." 

(Here follows the Resolution of 1902, already quoted.) 
(No. X. o/1907.) 

Trade and " That it is advisable, in the interests both of the United 

shipping. Kingdom and His Majesty's Dominions beyond the seas, 

that efforts in favour of British manufactured goods and 

British shipping should be supported as far as is practicable." 

(No. VIII. o/1907.) 



" That it is desirable, so far as circumstances permit, to 
statistics, secure greater uniformity in the trade statistics of the 
Empire, and that the note prepared on this subject by the 
Imperial Government be commended to the consideration 
of the various Governments represented at this Conference." 
(No. XIV. o/1907.) 



FINANCE 



1897. " Those assembled are of the opinion that the time has 

rmmt of arr i y ed when all restriction which prevents investments of 
Trust trust funds in Colonial stock should be removed." 



Funds. 



TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

(For Quasi-Resolutions 0/1887 cf. vol. i. p. 105.) 

1894. " (1) That, in the opinion of this Conference, immediate 

Pacific steps should be taken to provide telegraphic communi- 
cable, cations by cable, free from foreign control, between the 
Dominion of Canada and Australasia. 



RESOLUTIONS 381 

"(2) That the Imperial Government be respectfully 
requested to undertake at the earliest possible moment, 
:md to prosecute with all possible speed, a thorough survey 
of the proposed cable route between Canada and Australia ; 
the expense to be borne in equal proportions by Great 
Britain, Canada, and the Australasian Colonies. 

" (3) That it is for the interest of the Empire that, in 
case of the construction of a cable between Canada and 
Australasia, such cable should be extended from Australasia 
to the Cape of Good Hope ; and that, for that purpose, 
arrangements should be made between the Imperial and 
South African Governments for a survey of the latter 
route. 

" (4) That in view of the desirability of having a choice 
of routes for a cable connection between Canada and 
Australasia, the Home Government be requested to take 
immediate steps to secure neutral landing-ground on some 
one of the Hawaiian Islands, in order that the cable may 
remain permanently under British control. 

" (5) That the Canadian Government be requested, after 
the rising of the Conference, to make all necessary inquiries, 
and generally to take such steps as may be expedient, in 
order to ascertain the cost of the proposed Pacific cable, and 
promote the establishment of the undertaking in accordance 
with the views expressed in this Conference." 



" That it is desirable that in future agreements as to 1902. 
cable communications a clause should, wherever practicable, s {^ aae 
be inserted reserving to the Government or Governments of cables. 
concerned the right of purchasing on equitable terms, and 
after due notice, all or any of the cables to which the 
agreements relate." 

" 1. That in the opinion of this Conference the provision 1907. 



of alternative routes of cable communication is desirable ; Ai 

f i tive routes. 

but in deciding upon such routes, the question of the 
strategic advantage should receive the fullest consideration. 

" 2. That landing licences should not operate lor a longer Cable 
period than twenty years, and that when subsidies are agreed 
to be paid, they should be arranged on the ' standard 



382 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

revenue ' principle i.e. half the receipts after a fixed gross 
revenue has been earned to be utilised for the extinguish- 
ment of the subsidy and, by agreement, for the reduction 
of rates." (No. XVIII. 0/1907.) 



STEAMSHIP COMMUNICATIONS 

1894. " (1) That this Conference expresses its cordial approval 

Canada- o f the successful efforts put forth by Canada and New 
South Wales for the establishment of a regular monthly 
steamship service between Vancouver and Sydney. And 
affirms the advisability of reasonable co-operation of all 
the Colonies interested in securing the improvement and 
permanence of the same ; 

Canada- "(2) That the Conference learns with interest of the 

* m ' steps now being taken by Canada to secure a first-class fast 
mail and passenger service with all the modern appliances 
for the steerage and carrying of perishable goods across the 
Atlantic and Pacific to Great Britain and the large subsidy 
which she has offered to procure its establishment ; 

Ail-Red "(3) That it regards such an uninterrupted through 

line of swift and superior communication between Austral- 
asia and Great Britain as is above contemplated as of 
paramount importance to the development of Intercolonial 
trade and communication, and to the unity and stability 
of the Empire as a whole ; 

" (4) That as the Imperial Post Office contributes towards 
the cost of the mail service between England and Australia, 
vid Brindisi or Naples, the sum of 95,000 per annum, 
while the sea postage amounts only to 3000; and to 
the mail service between Vancouver and Japan and China 
45,000, less 7300 charged against the Admiralty; this 
Conference deems it but reasonable to respectfully ask that 
assistance be given by the Imperial Government to the 
proposed fast Atlantic and Pacific Service ; more par- 
ticularly as the British Post Office, whilst paying the large 
subsidy of 104,231 a year to the line from Liverpool to 
New York, has so far rendered no assistance in the main- 
tenance of a direct postal line between Great Britain and 
Canada." 



Kl.sni.i TI<>\> r;s:i 

That it is desirable that, in view of the great extension 1902. 
of foreign subsidies to shipping, the position of the mail *?n 
services between different parts of the Empire should be Hhippfag 
reviewed by the respective Governments. In all new con- " u 
tracts provisions should be inserted to prevent excessive 
fn-i^ht charges, or any preference in favour of foreigners, 
and to ensure that such of the steamers as may be suitable 
shall be at the service of His Majesty's Government in war 
time as cruisers or transports." 



" That in the opinion of this Conference the interests 1907. 
of the Empire demand that in so far as practicable its Ail-Red 
different portions should be connected by the best possible 
means of mail communication, travel, and transportation : 

" That to this end it is advisable that Great Britain should 
be connected with Canada, and through Canada with Aus- 
tralia and New Zealand, by the best service available within 
reasonable cost : 

" That for the purpose of carrying the above project into 
effect such financial support as may be necessary should be 
contributed by Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New 
Zealand in equitable proportions." (No. XX. of 1907.) 



POSTAGE 

" That it is advisable to adopt the principle of cheap 
postage between the different parts of the British Empire 
on all newspapers and periodicals published therein, and 
the Prime Ministers desire to draw the attention of His 
Majesty's Government to the question of a reduction in 
the outgoing rate. They consider that each Government 
should be allowed to determine the amount to which it 
may reduce such rate, and the time for such reduction 
going into effect." 

" That in view of the social and political advantages and 1907 
the material commercial advantages to accrue from a system 
of international penny postage, this Conference recommends 
to His Majesty's Government the advisability, if and when a 
suitable opportunity occurs, of approaching the Governments 



384 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

of other States, members of the Universal Postal Union, in 
order to obtain further reductions of postage rates, with a 
view to a more general, and, if possible, a universal, adoption 
of the penny rate." (No. XVII. of 1907.) 



DEFENCE 

1897. " That the statement of the First Lord of the Admiralty 

Austral- with reference to the Australian squadron is most satis- 
Naval factory, and the Premiers of Australasia favour the con- 

tinuance of the Australian squadron under the terms of 

the existing agreement." 



1902. " That the Prime Ministers of the self-governing Colonies 

Commis- suggest that the question of the allotment of the Naval and 

Navy land Military Cadets to the Dominions beyond the seas be taken 

into consideration by the Naval and Military Authorities, 

with a view to increasing the number of commissions to be 

offered ; that, consistent with ensuring suitable candidates, 

as far as practicable, greater facilities than now obtain 

should be given to enable young Colonists to enter the 

Navy and the Army." 



1907. " That the Colonies be authorised to refer to the Com- 

Committee mittee of Imperial Defence, through the Secretary of State, 
Defence for advice on any local questions in regard to which expert 

assistance is deemed desirable. 

" That whenever so desired, a representative of the Colony 

which may wish for advice should be summoned to attend 

as a member of the Committee during the discussion of the 

questions raised." (No. II. of 1907.) 



imperial " That this Conference welcomes and cordially approves 

staff 1 ^he ex P os ition of general principles embodied in the state- 
ment of the Secretary of State for War, and, without wishing 
to commit any of the Governments represented, recognises 
and affirms the need of developing for the service of the 
Empire a General Staff, selected from the forces of the 
Empire as a whole, which shall study military science in 



RESOLUTIONS -W, 

all its branches, shall collect and disseminate to the various 
Governments military information and intelligence, shall 
undertake the preparation of schemes of defence on a 
common principle, and, without in the least interfering 
in questions connected with command and administration, 
.shall, at the request of the respective Governments, advise 
as to the training, education, and war organisation of the 
military forces of the Crown in every part of the Empire." 
(No. III. c/1907.) 

MIGRATION 

" That it is desirable to encourage British emigrants to 1907. 
proceed to British Colonies rather than foreign countries. Encour 

" That the Imperial Government be requested to co- 
operate with any Colonies desiring immigrants in assisting 
suitable persons to emigrate." (No. IV. of 1907.) 



UNIFORMITY OF LAW 

" That this Conference desires to call the continued 1894. 
attention of their respective Governments to the proceed- Bank- 
ings of the Colonial Conference of 1887 in regard to the Eaw. y 
Bankruptcy and Winding up of Companies with a view 
to completing the necessary legislation upon the question 
therein raised." 



" That it would tend to the encouragement of inventions 1902. 
if some system for the mutual protection of patents in the Patent*, 
various parts of the Empire could be devised. That the 
Secretary of State be asked to enter into communication 
with the several Governments in the first instance and 
invite their suggestions to this end." 



"That it is desirable that His Majesty's Government, Patents, 
after full consultation with the self-governing Dominions, 
should endeavour to provide for such uniformity as may be 
practicable in the granting and protection of trade marks 
and patents." (No. XIII. of 1907.) 

VOL. II 2 B 



386 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

WOT. " That it is desirable, so far as circumstances permit, 

Company fc O secure greater uniformity in the company laws of the 
Empire, and that the memorandum and analysis prepared 
on this subject by the Imperial Government be commended 
to the consideration of the various Governments represented 
at this Conference." (No. XV. of 1907.) 



Naturaii- " That with a view to attain uniformity so far as prac- 

ticable, an inquiry should be held to consider further the 
question of naturalisation, and in particular to consider how 
far and under what conditions naturalisation in one part of 
His Majesty's dominions should be effective in other parts 
of those dominions, a subsidiary Conference to be held if 
necessary under the terms of the Resolution adopted by 
this Conference on 20th April last." (No. XIX. 0/1907.) 



RECIPROCITY IN PROFESSIONS 

1902. " That in arranging for the administration of the Trans- 

Prof es- vaa j am j the Orange River Colony it is desirable that pro- 

sional em- 
ployment vision should be made that duly qualified members of the 

Africa. learned and skilled professions now admitted and hereafter 
to be admitted to practise in the self-governing Colonies be 
allowed to practise within the newly-acquired territories on 
condition of reciprocal treatment in the Colonies concerned." 



1907 - "That it is desirable that reciprocity should be established 

procity in between the respective Governments and examining authori- 
admission ties throughout the Empire with regard to the examination 

of Land V . 

Surveyors and authorisation of land surveyors, and that the memo- 
lse ' randurn of the Surveyors Institute on this subject be com- 
mended for the favourable consideration of the respective 
Governments." (No. XVI. of 1907.) 



JUDICIAL 



1907. " The Conference agreed to the following finding : 



cart ri of " ^ e R es l ut i on f tne Commonwealth of Australia, 

Appeal. ' That it is desirable to establish an Imperial Court of 
Appeal,' was submitted and fully discussed. 



RESOLUTIONS 387 

" The Resolution submitted by the Government of Cape 
Colony was accepted, amended as follows: 

" ' This Conference, recognising the importance to all parts Privy 
of the Empire of the appellate jurisdiction of His Majesty 
t IK- K in-: in Council, desires to place upon record its opinion 
'"(1) That in the interests of His Majesty's subjects 
beyond the seas it is expedient that the practice and 
procedure of the Right Honourable the Lords of the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council be definitely 
laid down in the form of a code of rules and regulations. 
" ' (2) That in the codification of the rules regard should 
be had to the necessity for the removal of anachronisms 
and anomalies, the possibility of the curtailment of ex- 
pense, and the desirability of the establishment of courses 
of procedure which would minimise delays. 

"'(3) That, with a view to the extension of uniform Privy 
rights of appeal to all Colonial subjects of His Majesty, uniform" 
the various Orders in Council, instructions to Governors, H y- 
charters of justice, ordinances, and proclamations upon 
the subject of the appellate jurisdiction of the Sovereign, 
should be taken into consideration for the purpose of 
determining the desirability of equalising the conditions 
which gave rights of appeal to His Majesty. 

" ' (4) That much uncertainty, expense, and delay would 
be avoided if some portion of His Majesty's prerogative 
to grant special leave to appeal in cases where there 
exists no right of appeal were exercised under definite 
rules and restrictions.' 

" The following Resolutions, presented to the Conference 
by General Botha and supported by the representatives of 
Cape Colony and Natal, were accepted : 

" ' (1) That when a Court of Appeal has been established Privy 
for any group of Colonies geographically connected, whether limitation 
federated or not, to which appeals lie from the decisions of of 
the Supreme Courts of such Colonies, it shall be competent 
for the Legislature of each such Colony to abolish any 
existing right of appeal from its Supreme Court to the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. 

" ' (2) That the decisions of such Court of Appeal shall be 
final, but leave to appeal from such decisions may be granted 

VOL. II 2 B 2 



388 IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 

by the said Court in certain cases prescribed by the statute 
under which it is established. 

" ' (3) That the right of any person to apply to the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for leave to appeal 
to it from the decision of such Appeal Court shall not 
be curtailed.' " (No. V. of 1907.) 



INTER-IMPERIAL MAIL SERVICES 

THE following tables are the result of an attempt to dis- 
cover, from such official publications as are accessible in 
London, the amount spent by the Empire out of public 
revenues on the ocean mail and transportation services 
between the various parts. Unfortunately there is no 
single office charged with the duty of preparing informa- 
tion of this kind ; while the publications of the various 
Governments lack uniformity, and are not supplementary 
to each other. Thus the elementary information sought 
cannot be obtained with any probability of completeness 
or accuracy. The British figures are extracted from 
Appendix D of the Postmaster-General's report, a docu- 
ment calculated to aggravate the mystery surrounding the 
subject. Even so simple a point as the amount paid for 
the carriage of mails between Britain and Australia cannot 
be ascertained from the available papers. Another diffi- 
culty is that in the official list of steamship subventions 
paid by Canada the recognised mail services are not dis- 
tinguished from the purely commercial services which it 
has long been the policy of the Dominion to subsidise as 
well ; while for the other Dominions there are no accessible 
records of similar subventions, though it is believed that 
such are paid. The conclusion from the accompanying 
tables, so far as they go, seems to be that for mail services 
proper the Empire spends little more than 1,000,000 a 
year, or about 4d. per head of the European population ; 
which seems a very small amount in proportion to the 
importance of having frequent, regular, rapid and cheap 
means of communication between the different parts. 



MAIL SERVK 

BRITAIN 

PaymenU ID 

1910. 

Britain-Bermuda (viA New York) .... 805 

,, Honduras 1,048 

West Indies 17,148 

Newfoundland 2,000 

Falkland Islands (2,500 by F.I.) . . 32,000 

W. Africa (4,600 by W. A. Colonies) . . 20,291 

St. Helena and Ascension .... 5,070 

Aden and Zanzibar . ..... 8,500 

,, India, China, and Australia (77,188 by India 

and Crown Colonies) 305,000 

,, New Zealand 3,857 

China (vid Canada : 25,000 by Canada) . 45,000 

440,719 

CANADA 

1909. 

Canada - Britain 8565,000 

,, Australia (Vancouver-Sydney) . . . 173,566 
,, Japan and China ...... 73,000 

W. Indies and British Guiana . . . 65,700 



$877,266 
Say 180,000 
Other Subventions 

Canada - Britain (various ports) ..... $111,250 

Newfoundland 26,860 

Jamaica 13,800 

Japan and China (additional) . . . 48,302 

S. Africa . 146,000 

New Zealand 47,720 



$393,932 
Say 80,000 

1 The two subsidised mail services were in abeyance. That with the 
R.M.S.P. Co. to Barbados, &c., has been renewed at 63,000 a year, the 
W.I. Colonies contributing 25,000. That with the Elder-Dempster Co. to 
Jamaica at 40,000, Jamaica contributing 20,000, has not been renewed. 
The British Postmaster-General's Report omits two other West Indian 
items paid by Britain, viz. 12,600, being half the subsidy (25,000) for 
the inter-island service, the West Indies paying the other half ; and 13,500, 
being the other half of the Canada-British Guiana subsidy (27,000), Canada 
paying a similar amount. 



390 



IMPERIAL CONFERENCE 



AUSTRALIA 

Australia - Britain (viA Suez) 

Canada (Sydney- Vancouver) 



NEW ZEALAND 

New Zealand - Britain (vid Australia) 
Australia . 

San Francisco (vid Tahiti) 



Appropriation 
for 1910-11. 

. 144,700 
26,860 

171,560 



1909. 
18,000 
15,000 
7,000 

40,000 



SOUTH AFRICA 

1909. 

S. Africa - Britain . 135,000 

(Contract with Union Castle Co. renewed 
in 1910 for two years at 150,000.) 



SUMMARY 

United Kingdom (less contributions) .... 331,431 

Canada (+ 25,000 per U.K.) . . . . . 205,000 

Australia 171,560 

New Zealand 40,000 

S. Africa 135,000 

Newfoundland ..... 

India, &c. (per U.K.) 77,188 

W. Africa and Falkland I. (per U.K.). . . 7,100 

Fiji (towards Sydney- Vancouver service) . . . 2,280 

969,559 
( + about 50,000 for new West Indies contract, 

and 15,000 for new S. African contract) . 65,000 



Approximate total for Empire 



. 1,034,559 



:. II. 

AliTNKIJSI 
!: NATIO. 1 




Commission 
sponsitHlit 

i ^ -^~_ 

Reprod 



i evolutic 
!hapter ] 
>tcd l> 
da of cu 



pfCt lit' 

ninieiits 



Tim 



Conference] 



INDEX 



Aberdeen, Lord, i. 157, 161, 165 
Admiralty (cf. Naval), constitu- 
tional position of, i. 140, 142 ; 

ii. 152 
Advisory Council 

Australia and, ii. 28, 59, 61, 69-73 
Canada and, ii. 14-20, 52, 58. 
Newfoundland and, ii. 20-21 
New Zealand and, ii. 31, 54-55, 

58, 59 (n) 

South Africa and, ii. 31, 64 
Chamberlain and, i. 322-342, 354 
Colonial Office and, ii. 72-73, 

102-106 
different from Conference, i. 123 ; 

ii. 9, 10, 17 

Lyttelton's scheme, ii. 11-22 
Pollock's scheme, ii. 7-10 
Africa (cf. South Africa), British 

expansion in, i. 297 
Afrikander Bond, i. 62 
Agenda of Imperial Conferences 
1887, i. 8-11, 16, 23-24 
1894, i. 163-164 
1897, i. 319, 321-330 
1902, i. 343-345 
1907, ii. 25-32, 41-42 
1911, ii. 361 

Australia and, i. 16, 344 ; ii. 28-30 
Britain and, i. 8-11, 319-330, 

343; ii. 20-24, 41 
Canada and, i. 97, 141, 163, 343 ; 

ii. 32, 339 
New Zealand and, i. 78. 110, 112, 

119, 344 ; ii. 31 
Newfoundland and, ii. 32, 266, 

272 



Agenda of Imperial Conference 
continued 

South Africa and, i. 16, 344 ; ii. 

31-32 

Agents-General (and High Commis- 
sioners) 

joint action by, i. 93, 104, 152, 
156, 165, 169, 211, 250 ; ii. 128 

Position of, in relation to Emi- 
gration, ii. 282, 285 

Imperial Conference, i. 10, 93; 
ii. 72, 112, 123-124, 126-129 
Alaska, boundary dispute, ii. 53, 133 
Aliens (cf. Asiatics) Act, ii. 307 
All-Red Route 

1887, i. 97-99 

1894, i. 157, 212-230 

1897, i. 327 

1902, i. 344, 371 

1907. ii. 239-368 

1911,ii, 361 

Australia and, i. 217-221 ; ii. 330, 
342, 352 

Britain and, i. 226 ; ii. 330, 344, 
346-347, 349, 351, 355-356, 359 

Canada and, i. 215-217 ; ii. 339- 
341, 345, 352, 356-359 

New Zealand and, i. 212, 220- 
221 ; ii.211, 342-346, 361 

Newfoundland and, ii. 345, 361 

South Africa and, i. 221 ; ii. 344 

advantages of, i. 219, 227 ; ii. 
342-345, 351, 361 

committee on, ii. 349-351 

cost of, i. 216-217; ii. 350-351, 
354-355, 357-358 

emigration and, ii. 353 

Ireland and, ii. 352, 355 

Preference and,i. 228-229 



891 



392 



INDEX 



All-Red Route continued 

Resolutions re, i. 224-225 ; ii. 

339, 348, 382-383 
syndicate for, ii. 350, 361 
time-table of, i. 216 ; ii. 340-342, 

357 
vested interests v., ii. 346, 353, 

355, 365 

Appeal, Judicial (cf. Privy Coun- 
cil) 

1902, i. 371 
1907, ii. 290-305 
Australia and, i. 324, 344, 371 ; 

ii. 290, 296-299, 305' 
Britain and,i. 324, ii. 301-304 
Canada and, ii. 300, 304 
New Zealand and, ii. 31, 298,301 
Newfoundland and, ii. 301 
South Africa and, ii. 299, 304 
House of Lords, ii. 293, 297, 301 
Imperial Court of, i. 344, 371 ; 

ii. 290, 297, 302, 304 
Resolutions re, ii. 386-388 
Arbitration 

Alaska Boundary, ii. 53 
Hay-Pauncefote agreement, i. 

316 

International, i. xxxiv-xliv 
Olney-Paunceforte proposal, i. 

xliv 

Taft-Grey proposal, i. xlii. 
Armaments, limitation of, i. xxxv. ; 

ii. 26 

Arnold-Forster, H. O., i. 398 
Asiatics, restriction of (cf. Natural- 
isation) 

1897, i. 327-330, 335 
Australia and, i. 6, 328, 372 ; ii. 

55, 206, 223, 283 
Britain and, i. 327-330 ; ii. 65, 

222 

Canada and, i. 372 ; ii. 47 
New Zealand and, ii. 55-56, 309 
South Africa and, i. 328-329 ; ii. 

309 

Chinese labour, i. 372 ; ii. 44, 

61,65 

" Education test," i. 328-329 
India's interest, i. 329 ; ii. 222 



Asquith, H. H., Chancellor of Ex- 
chequer, ii. 309 
Prime Minister, ii. 275 
betrays Milner, i. 317 
his partisanship, ii. 90, 184-186 
on All-Red Route, ii. 359 
on Asiatic exclusion, ii. 222 
on cable rates, i. 275 
on cattle embargo, ii. 258 
on coinage question, ii. 313 
on incidence of duties, ii. 202 
on income tax, ii. 309-311 
on " other ways " of union, ii. 53, 

106, 213, 222-227, 257, 265 
Australasia 

Federal Council of, i. 24 
meaning of name, i. 203 ; ii. 373 
A ustralia (cLBarton, Deakin, Lyne) 
Agenda for Imperial Conference 

(cf. Agenda) 
Commonwealth Bill, i. 324, 343 ; 

ii. 296 
Elections (1906), ii. 58, 61, 206, 

245 

External Affairs Ministry, ii. 125 
federal powers in, ii. 37-38, 82, 

114, 294-296, 316 
federation of, i. 6, 81, 258, 324, 

343 ; ii. 37-38 

financial depression in, i. 145 
Free Trade in, i. 85 ; ii. 58 
High Commissionership, i. 274 
Immigration policy, ii. 281 
Intercolonial jealousies, i. 35, 95, 

103, 257-258, 339 ; ii. 39 
Labour Party, ii. 37, 46, 206, 361 
Mail contract, i. 90-91, 95-96 
Public Service Commission, ii. 131 
Railways in politics, i. 208 
Reciprocity with Canada, i. 191- 

192 ; ii. 362 
Reciprocity with New Zealand, 

i. 192 ; ii. 205 
Reciprocity with South Africa, 

ii. 370, 461 
States and Imperial Conference, 

ii. 37 
Australia 

Tariff of, ii. 46, 205-207, 223, 271 



INDIA 



Australia continued 

Trado with Britain, ii. 192, 203, 

210 

Trade with Canada, ii. 360, 362 
Trade with foreign countries, i. 

79, 198 
Trade with New Zealand, ii. 205 

.de statistics of, 198, 205, 246 
" White Australia " policy, i. 6, 

328 ; ii. 206, 223, 283, 362 
" Young Australia," ii. 247 
Autonomy, and Empire, i. 75, 112 ; 
ii. 59, 191-192, 234, 281, 301- 
302, 304, 379 



Bahamas, i. 195 
Balfour, A. J. 

Canada-U.S.A. Reciprocity, ii. 53 

naval subsidies, ii. 60 

preference, ii. 190, 231-232 
Balfour, Gerald, i. 366 
Balfour of Burleigh, Lord, i. 264 
Bankruptcy, law re, i. 24, 108, 230 ; 

ii. 385 

Barnardo, Dr., ii. 286 
Barristers, reciprocal admission of, 

ii. 316-318 
Barton, Sir Edmund 

Premier of Australia, i. 266, 338 

at 1902 Conference, i. 371, 373, 

376 ; ii. 59, 60 
Basutoland, i. 60 ; ii. 213 
Baxendale, Mr., i. 279 
Beaconsfield, Lord, ii. 364 
Bechuanaland, i. 20, ii. 213 
Behring Sea, dispute, ii. 127 
Bell, Sir F. Dillon, i. 4, 39, 78-79, 

80,83,93, 104, 110, 112, 122 
Berry, Sir Graham, i. 4, 48 
Birrell, Augustine, ii. 352, 355 
Blyth, Sir Arthur, i. 3 
Bond, Sir Robert 

Premier of Newfoundland, i. 338 ; 
ii.2 

American trade policy of, ii. 21, 
272-274,332,345 



Bond, Sir Robert continued 

on autonomy, ii. 272 

on coastwise trade, ii. 280 

on imperial fund, ii. 332 

on judicial appeals, ii. 301 

on naval defence, ii. 162 

on preference, ii. 217 
Borden, Sir Frederick, i. 338 ; ii. 2, 

30, 141, 147, 149-151 
Borden, R. L., ii. 50, 53, 358 
Botha, Louis 

Premier of Transvaal, ii. 2, 65, 74, 
84-86, 102, 150 

on advisory council, ii. 105 

on coastwise trade, ii. 280 

on defence, ii. 145, 164 

on Imperial Conference, ii. 107, 
112, 128 

on income tax, ii. 310 

on judicial appeals, ii. 300 

on naturalisation, ii. 308 

on preference, ii. 217, 265 

on secretariat, ii. 118 
Bounties 

Continental sugar, i. 83-90 

French fishery, i. 83 
Bourassa, Henri, ii. 49, 174, 353 (n) 
Bowell, Sir Mackenzie, i. 132, 147, 
202, 207, 244 

Chairman of Conference, i. 161, 
196 

Imperial programme of, 5. 168 
Braddon, Sir Edward, i. 288 
Brassey, Lord, i. 7 ; ii. 351 
Bright, Charles, i. 273, 276, 284 
Bright, John, i. 289 
British Columbia, ii. 47, 113 
British Empire League, ii. 49 
Brodeur, Louis P., ii. 2, 159, 169, 

308, 319 
Bruce, Sir Charles, i. 1 19 (n), 300 (n) ; 

ii. 132 (n) 

Brussels, Convention, i. 90 (n) 
Bryce, James, ii. 53, 296 
Budget, British, i. 377 ; ii. 240, 

276 
Burns, John, ii. 2 

on emigration, ii. 285 
Burt, Septimus, i. 4 



394 



INDEX 



Buxton, Sydney, i. 277, 313 ; ii. 2, 
289-290, 319 



C 



Cabinet, constitutional theory of, 

i. 32 (n) ; ii. 17 
Cable Companies 
Atlantic, ii. 280 

Eastern, i. 100-103, 204, 383-389 
Colonial agreements with, i. 256- 

259, 267, 387 

finance of, i. 265, 284, 388-389 
Foreign Office and, i. 101, 204 
Cables (cf . Pacific, Telegraphy) 
African, i. 104, 206, 248 
Atlantic, i. 273, 276-280, 281 
Bahamas-U.S.A., i. 195 
Canadian Railway Commission 

and, i. 276 
Cape-Australia, i. 106, 206-207, 

248, 253-256, 263 ; ii. 381, 387- 

388 

deferred messages, i. 276, 279 
Departmental Committee on, 

i. 264-265, 371 
Empire girdle scheme, i. 145, 272, 

371, 391-396 
expropriation clause, i. 262, 

371-372 

" Free Trade " in, i. 264 
Government messages, i. 283 
Iceland route, i. 279-280 
international Conference on, i. 79 
Java-Australia, i. 199 
landing rights, i. 265, 381 
neutrality of, i. 147, 150, 282 
New Caledonia, i. 146 
New Zealand-Australia, i. 201- 

202 
Ottawa Board of Trade and, i. 

145, 391 

" penny-a-word," i. 272 
preferential trade and, ii. 193 
Press messages, i. 275, 281 
Queensland-New Guinea, i. 282 
rates to Australia, i. 263 
rates to India, i. 266 



Cables continued 
rates to South Africa, i. 206, 

256 ; ii. 32 

rates, table of reductions, i. 396 
" Standard Revenue " system, 

i. 256 ; ii. 32, 289 
Standing Committee on, i. 265 
State ownership of, i. 105, 262, 

284-285, 344, 372 ; ii. 381 
State control of, i. 204, 276-277, 

282, 383-389 
strategic importance of, i. 140 

(n), 147, 150, 282 
subsidies paid to, i. 103, 390 
" Trust," i. 101, 134, 208 
U.S.A.-China, i. 262, 264 
West Indian, i. 284 
Cadetships, naval and military in 

Colonies, i. 37, 46, 325, 366 ; 

ii. 166, 384 
Cadogan, Lord, i. 3 
Campbell, Sir Alex., i. 3, 25, 55, 82, 

86, 92, 106, 112 
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., ii. 2, 

25,86 
Canada (cf. Laurier, Borden, 

Brodeur) 
Agenda for Imperial Conference 

(cf. Agenda) 
American influence on, i. 67 ; ii. 

160, 175 

Chinese labour, i. 372 ; ii. 47 
currency, ii. 313 
federal system, ii. 113, 300, 316 
fisheries, i. 24, 290 
foreign trade policy, i. 334 (n) ; 

ii. 47-48, 194, 215, 256 
French-Canadians, ii. 15,49, 148- 

149, 173-174, 344 
immigration policy of, ii. 285-287 
" Imperial Council " opposed by, 

ii. 14-20 
Imperialism in, i. 112, 167, 232; 

ii. 15, 16, 22, 48-49, 71 
Intermediate tariff, ii. 47-48, 

215-216, 256 

"Kingdom" of, ii. 100, 109 
" militarism " in, ii. 52, 148 
" National Policy " the, i. 7, 310 



INDI:\ 



Canada continued 

imturali.vition in, ii. 308 
North-West Territory, ,. _'o;HO 

urence (q.v. and cf. Corn) 
!; ulu.iy Commission, i. 276 
reciprocity (q.v.) with U.S.A., i. 

07, 100-1(57, IT---, -'.;_',_':; :, -J io, 

J|-_'; ii. 48, 99 (), 240, _>.-,-_', 
256-258, 329, 362, 368 
revenue system, ii. -~> I 
Kiel's rebellion, i. 6 
South African War, i. 350 ; ii. 44 
subsidies to shipping, ii. 360, 389 
telegraph system, i. 270-271 
trade of, i. 356 (n) ; ii. 327, 371- 

372 

treaties (cf. Treaty) 
treaty powers of, i. 82, 172 ; ii. 95 
West Indian relations, i. 85-86 
Canadian- Pacific Railway, i. 55, 97- 
99, 214, 224, 258, 268 ; ii. 353, 
355, 357 

Cape Colony (cf. South Africa, Hof- 

meyr, Jameson, Rfiodes, Uping- 

ton, Mills, de Villiers, Smartt) 

Agenda for Imperial Conference, 

i. 16, 343 ; ii. 31 
Native wars, i. 22, 59-61 
preference (q.v.), i. 16, 66, 182 ; 
ii. 31, 211-216, 248-249, 369- 
372 

wine industry, ii. 214 
Carnarvon, Lord, i. 7 
Car on, Sir Adolphe, i. 7, 132, 196, 

215 

Carruthers, Sir Joseph, ii. 37-39 
Cartwright, Sir Richard, ii. 53 
Cattle, embargo on, i. 373 ; ii. 258 
Census, uniformity re, i. 24, 125 
Chamberlain, A. J., i. ix, 263 
Chamberlain, Joseph A. 

President Board of Trade, i. 289 
Colonial Secretary, i. 244, 289 
Chairman Imperial Conference, 

i. 288, 338, 343, 347 ; ii. 40 
mission to America, i. 290 
promotes Pacific Cable, i. 244, 261 
correspondence with Cable Com- 
panies, i. 251-253, 383-389 



Chamber lain, Joseph A. continued 
criticises Commonwealth Hill, 

i. :!_'!, :m ; ii. 296-298, 306 
reply to Canadian offer, i. 368 
interview with Denison, 369 
launches Tariff Reform, i. 377 ; 

ii. 4-7 

his " forbidden list," ii. 7 
his Imperialism, i. 289-292, 300, 

341,342 

his influence analysed, ii. 8 
value of services, i. 296, 297 
speeches, 1887-1897, i. 289-319 
speeches, opening conference, 

i. 321-330, 349, 352, 352-357 
Remarks on 
American relationship, i. 293, 

316 

arbitration, i. 316 
American massacres, i. 316 
Asiatic immigration, i. 328-330 
Australian federation, i. 324 
Canadian " National Policy," 

i. 252, 357 

Canadian preference, i. 356 
Canada- U.S.A. reciprocity, i. 

291-292 

cable question, i. 383-389 
closer union of Empire, i. 106, 
294, 300, 313-319, 321-324, 
352-354 ; ii. 94 (n.) 
commercial union, i. 305-306, 
310-311, 314, 320, 326, 333, 
355 
colonial nationalism, i. 309, 

325, 348, 357 
Egypt, i. 303, 316 
Free Trade, i. 307, 315, 355 ; 

ii. 6. 

Imperial Conference, i. 348 
Imperial defence, i. 324-325, 

332, 354-355 
Imperial federation, i. 305, 321 , 

353 

Imperial surtax, i. 307 
preference (1890), i. 398 
South Africa, i. 294-295, 301, 

317, 322 
" splendid isolation," i. 302 



396 



INDEX 



Chamberlain, Joseph A. continued 
State v. private enterprise, 

i. 383-389 

Uganda, i. 297, 298, 299 
working classes and Empire, 

i. 296, 299 
Zollverein, i. 306, 308, 311-312, 

326 
Chamberlain-Bayard convention, i. 

290 

Childers, H. C. E., i. 126 
Chinese Labour, i. 372; ii. 44, 61, 

65 

Churchill, Winston S., ii. 114, 180, 
218, 241-245, 259-262, 270, 
273, 283, 318, 334-335, 355, 
359 

Clarke, Sir George S., ii. 136, 321. 
Cleveland, President, i. 302 
Coastwise Trade, ii. 30, 54 
1902, i. 374 
1907, ii. 275-280 
Resolutions, ii. 378-380 
Cobdenism, i. xxxi, xli ; ii. 204, 221, 

263 

Coinage, profit on, ii. 312 
Cold Storage, inception of, i. 216, 

218 
Collins, Captain R. M., i. 274 ; ii. 

352 

Colmer, J. G., ii. 23 
Colombo, i. 21 
Colonial Defence Committee, i. 23, 

325, 333 

" Colonial Dependence," ii. 152, 154 
Colonial Institute, Royal, i. 272, 318, 

300 (ra) ; ii. 8 

Colonial Nationalism, i. 349-351 
Colonial Office 

and advisory council, ii. 72-73, 

102-105 
and Imperial Conference, ii. 43, 

111 (n), 124-125 
as Secretariat of Conference, ii. 

72-73, 88-89, 103, 119-120 
inadequacy of methods, i. 26 ; 
ii. 117, 118, 119, 130-134, 267 
interchange of staff, ii. 130-134 
reorganisation of, ii. 29, 130-134 



Colonial Stocks, i. 24, 110-111, 336; 

ii. 380 
" Colony," disuse of term, i. 25 ; ii., 

108, 315 
Committee 
Colonial Defence, i. 23, 325, 

333 
of Imperial Defence, ii. 10, 30, 

60, 150, 384 

on cable communications, i. 264 
on copyright, i. 230 
on defence (Esher), ii. 136 
on emigration, ii. 280 
on mail contracts, i. 222 
on naturalisation, i. 372. 
on naval defence (Australia), 

ii. 167 (n) 

on shipping subsidies, ii. 241 
Conference (cf. Imperial, Subsidi- 
ary) 
Brisbane, intercolonial at, 1893, 

i. 146 

Cable, international, 1884, i. 79 
Hobart, intercolonial at, 1897, 

i. 326 

Peace, international, 1907, ii. 15 
Press, Imperial, 1909, i. 275 
Sydney, intercolonial at, 1881, 

i. 38, 52 
Sydney, intercolonial at, 1888, 

i. 140 
Sydney, intercolonial at, 1893, 

i. 146 
Sydney, intercolonial at, 1898, 

i. 249 

Wireless telegraphy, interna- 
tional, 1906, ii. 289 
Company Law, ii. 314, 386 
'< Compatriot Politics," ii. 60, 61, 212, 

232, 245, 273, 353 
Connaught, Duke of, ii. 100 
Constitution (cf . Federation, Governor, 

Appeal, Crown) 
colonial in Australia, i. 157, 169, 

235 

Empire, ii. 94-100, Appendix N. 
powers of colonial parliaments, 

ii. 72, 304 
validity of colonial laws, ii. 272 



INDKX 






Contingent*, oo\o\\\n\ in South Africa, 

ID 351,303 
Convention 

Blaine-Bond, i. 238 
Ghainhitrhi'm-ltayard, i. 290 
Customs, at Moritzbur^, ii. 

loral, at Sydney, i. 142, 171 
M B ml, ii.'J 1,272 
Now Hebrides, ii. 2G9 
international, re 

Protection of Trade Marks, 

i. 114 

Sugiir Bounties, i. DO (n) 
Telegraphs, i. 254, 279, 388 ; 

ii. 281) 

Wireless telegraphy, ii. 289 
. Audloy, i. 140 
Copyright 

1894, i. 163, 230 
1907, ii. 315-316 

Corn Duty (1902), i. 241 ; ii. 44-45, 
181, 201-202, 254, 368 (n), 
369, 376 

Canadian view of incidence, ii. 6 
Lloyd-George on, ii. 237 
table of prices under, ii. 201 (n) 
Coronation of King Edward, i. 343 
Cotton 

Indian duties, ii. 220 
market in South Africa, ii. 250 
Coulter, Mr., ii. 359 
Cox, Harold, ii. 349 
Crewe, Lord, ii. 2 
Cross, Lord, i. 3 
Cuba, trade with, i. 379 
Cunard Company, agreement with, 

ii. 341, 350 
Crick, Mr., i. 259 
Crown 

in relation to Empire, ii. 76, 100 
limitation of prerogatives, ii. 

304 

powers of, ii. 94 
privy councillors of, ii. 317 
prerogative of appeal, ii. 291- 

296, 300, 387 

prerogative of dissolution, i. 122 
prerogative of pardon, i. 118, 
124 ; ii. 291 



Crown continued 

reservation of billH, ii. 31 

royal titles, i. 1'J.. 1'J'i 
Crown Colonies 

and Colonial Office, ii. I 

and Imperial Conference, ii. 41 



D 



J)aviei, T. H., i. 197 

Davy, Lord, ii. 296 

1 1 /;. r.< I'',.-,!/,!!!!!!, ii. 310 

De yilliers, Sir Henry, i. 132, 160, 

221, 331 : ii. 85, 293 
Deakin, Alfred 

Premier of Victoria, i. 4, 26 
Premier of Commonwealth, ii. 2, 

27, 58, 61 
President Imperial Federation 

League, ii. 69-70 
defeated by Labour Party, i. 273 
hated by English Liberals, ii. 186 
his Imperialism, i. 26, 28 ; ii. 69, 

70, 102, 176, 180 
his versatility, ii. 278 
Remarks on 

advisory council, ii. 61, 69-73 
All-Red Route, ii. 342, 346 
annexation of New Guinea, 

i. 118 
Australian Naval Agreement, 

i. 38, 45 ; ii. 166 
autonomy, i. 75: ii. 191-192, 

281 
basis of contribution, i. 41 ; ii. 

158, 325-326 
coinage question, ii. 313 
colonial loans, i. Ill 
Colonial Office, i. 26, 27; ii. 

117, 119, 195-196 
constitution of Conference, ii. 

80, 93, 107, 109 
defence, i. 38, 45 ; ii. 143-144, 

167 

emigration, ii. 281-283, 287 
federal principle, ii. 100 
Free Trade within Empire, ii. 
235 



398 



INDEX 



Deakin, Alfred continued 
Remarks on continued 
imperial fund, ii. 321-335 
imperialism, ii. 180 
incidence of duties, ii. 200, 204, 

244 
intercolonial preference, ii. 

197, 205 

judicial appeal, ii. 296-298 
naturalisation, ii. 308 
New Hebrides Convention, ii. 

267 et seq. 
party system and preference, 

ii. 259 

patent law, i. 115 ; ii. 315 
penny postage, i. 94 ; ii. 319 
preference, i. 75 ; ii. 187, 189- 

199, 259 et seq. 
publicity of proceedings, ii. 

80-81, 86-87, 93 
reciprocity with New Zealand, 

ii. 205 
Secretariat, ii. 116-118, 122- 

123, 133, 334 

State Premiers' claim, ii, 38-39 
Subsidiary Conferences, ii. 82 
Suez Canal tolls, ii. 348 
taxation of raw material, ii. 

226 

title of Conference, ii. 102, 108 
treaty obligations, ii. 274 
treaty powers, i. 82 
"White Australia '' policy, ii. 

283 

Defence (cf. Military, Naval) 
1887, i. 30-77 
1897, i. 324-325, 330-333, 362- 

366 

1902, i. 357-362 
1907, ii. 136-179, 151, 175 
Canada's Imperial agreement, i. 

55-56 
Colonial Defence Committee, i. 

23, 325, 333 
Committee of Imperial Defence, 

i. 23 ; ii. 10, 30, 60, 150, 384 
division of responsibilities, i. 30 

et seq. ; ii. 139-140 
" equality of sacrifice," ii. 177 



Defence continued 

expenditure on, i. 22, 39, 42, 55, 
58-59, 69, 354-355, 360-361 ; 
ii. 156, 159-163 
food supply and, i. 178 ; ii. 250, 

351 

foreign affairs and, ii. 98, 179 
munitions in Colonies, ii. 142 
preference and, i. 29, 62-77; ii. 

179 

resolutions on, ii. 384 
Royal Commission on, i. 9, 21, 52 
Deceased Wife's Sister, i. 113 
Decimal currency, ii. 30, 313 
Delagoa Bay, ii. 133 
Denison, Colonel G. T. i. 290 (ri), 

369 ; ii. 16, 70, 127 (n) 
Development Act, ii. 336-338 
Development Fund, proposed Im- 
perial, ii. 321-368 
Dilke, Sir Charles, i. 297, 303 
Dinizulu, i. 119 {) 
Dissolution, power of, i. 122-124 
Distress Committees, ii. 286 
Dividends, unclaimed, i. 112 
Dodds, J. S., i. 3, 28, 96 
Dominions, adoption of term, ii. 108 
Douglas, A., i. 3 
Downer, Sir John, i. 4, 38, 41, 74, 

118, 121, 123 
Drage, Geoffrey, ii. 133 
Dukhobors, ii. 287 



East India, Unclaimed Stock Act, 

i. 112 
Education 

and Emigration, ii. 288 
Subsidiary Conference on, ii. 66 
Egeria, H.M.S., i. 140 
Egypt, i 5, 279, 303 ; ii. 365 
Elgin, Lord, ii. 25, 34-36, 41-42, 64, 
75, 85, 87, 103, 108, 118, 134, 
264, 271, 273, 280, 315, 334 
Emigration 
1887, i. 124 
1907, ii. 280-288 



INDMX 



Emigration continued 
agencies, ii. 285-286 
Agents-General and, ii. 282, 285 
Australian resolution <>n, n. ;{n 

tuiu's policy, ii. 233, 282 (n), 
286 

child, ii. 286 

committee on, ii. 280-281 
community settlements, ii. 287 
education and, ii. 288 
Information Office, i. 124; ii. 132, 

282, 285, 287 
preference and, ii. 193 
Resolutions re, ii. 280, 288, 385 
shipping and, ii. 288, 343, 353 

Empire, evolution of, ii. 94-96 

Escombe, Sir Harry, i. 288 

Esher, Lord, ii. 136 

Esquimault (and Halifax) 
fortification of, i. 21, 98 
transfer to Canada, ii. 142, 151 
expenditure on, ii. 161, 169-170 
proposed dock at, ii. 158 

Ewart, J. S., i. 96 (n) 

Exhibition 

Indian and Colonial, i. 7 
Paris, i. 327 

" Expansion of England," the, i. 33, 
352 



Fanning Island, i. 151 

Federal Council, of Australasia, i. 

6, 24, 95, 116 

Federation (cf . Imperial Federation) 
of colonies into units, i. 334, 

343 ; ii. 39 
essentials of, ii. 100 
powers under, ii. 37-38, 82, 114, 

294, 316 

Fergusson, Sir James, i. 86 
Fielding, W. S., i. 189, 274, 338 
Fiji 

annexation of, ii. 267 

All-Red Route and, i. 215-216 ; 

ii. 344, 354 

headquarters of High Commis- 
sioner, ii. 269 



Fiji continued 

invited to Ottawa Conference, 
i. 156 

sugar industry, i. 83 
Fisher, Andrew, ii. 361 
Fisheries 

Atlantic, i. 24, 290; ii. 21, 272- 
274 

Protection service, ii. 160 
Fitzgerald, Nicholas, i. 132 
Fitzherbert, Sir William, i. 4, 74, 79, 

89, 93, 120 

Fleming, Sir Sandford, i. 7, 82, 97- 
100, 132, 133-135, 137-138, 
151-155, 244-246, 262-266 
Food duties (cf. Corn Duty), i. 307 ; 

ii 5, 68, 210, 248 
Ford, Sir Clare, i. 381 
Foreign affairs 

1887, i. 115-118, 125; ii. 268 

1897, i. 326, 335-336 

1902, i. 373 

1907, ii. 77, 266-274 
Forster, W. E., i. 126, 171, 305 
Forrest, Sir John, i. 45, 288, 338 
Forrest, William, i. 132, 202 
France 

coastwise trade, ii. 275 

colonial policy, i. 27 : ii. 275 

fiscal policy, ii. 198 

New Hebrides, ii. 268 

Newfoundland, i. 24, 83 

treaties with (cf. Treaty) 
Fraser, Simon, i. 132, 204 
Free Trade(ct. next, and Preference) 

as a "fetish," i. 87 ; ii. 4, 6, 181, 
260 

definition of, i. 88 ; ii. 225, 235 

destructive influence of, i. xlii, 
ii. 263, 279 

fallacies of, i. 241 ; ii. 349 

in Australia, i. 85 ; ii. 58 

within the Empire, ii. 230, 250 
Free Traders 

inconsistencies of, ii. 235, 244, 
259,265,277,311 

patriotism of, i. 135, 185 
French-Canadians (cf. Canada) 
Froude, J. A., i. 318 

*2 



400 



INDEX 



G 



Gait, Sir Alexander, i. 7, 78, 79, 

379 

Garrick, Sir James, i. 4 ; ii. 127 n 
General Staff (cf. Military) 
George, D. Lloyd 
President Board of Trade, ii. 2, 

77 
Imperialist by instinct, ii. 233- 

234, 279, 315 
Remarks on 

All-Red Route, ii. 241, 344- 

345, 346, 348 
Chamberlain campaign, ii. 238, 

240 

coastwise trade, ii. 276, et seq. 
copyright, ii. 315 
corn duty (1902), ii. 237 
imperial fund, ii. 323-325, 

328, 333-335 
" other ways," ii. 241 
patent law, ii. 315 
preference, ii. 231-241, 329 
Germany 

African position, i. 173 
colonial policy, i. 27 ; ii. 276 
imperial analogy of, i. 18, 27, 

306, 326 

shipping competition, ii. 278 
trade competition, i. 315 ; ii. 

204, 210, 249-250 
treaties with (cf. Treaty) 
Gladstone, Lord, ii. 305-309 
Gladstone, W. E., i. 341 ; ii. 245 
Goschen, Lord, i. 330-331 
Government ownership, i. 260-261, 

195, 208, 265 
Government 

"His Majesty's," ii. 109 
powers of British, i. 118-124; 

ii. 94-95 
Governors 

communication through, ii. 126 
powers of, i. 118-124 
Grand Trunk Railway, i. 224 ; ii. 

353, 358 

Granville, Lord, i. 25, 289 n. 
" Greater Britain," i. 352 



Grey, Sir Edward, ii. 2, 173, 266, 

'273 

Grey, Lord, i. 133 ; ii. 351 
Griffith, Sir Samuel 
Premier of Queensland, i. 4, 16 
President Federal Council, i. 28 
Remarks on 
defence, i. 35, 48, 51 
Imperial Conference, i. 28, 127 
New Guinea, i. 116-117 
powers of governors, i. 121, 

123 

preference, i. 16, 63-64 
treaty powers, i. 81 
uniformity of law, i. 109 



H 



Haggard, H. Rider, ii. 281 
Haldane, R. B., ii. 8, 136-140, 145, 

149-150, 296 
Halifax, (cf. Esqidmault) 
Hamilton, Lord George, i. 44, 45, 

87 
" Hamiltonians," the, i. xix-xxv, 

321,341 

Harcourt, Sir William V., i. 232 
Hawaii and Pacific Cable, i. 151, 

154-155, 162; ii. 381 
monarchy overthrown, i. 152 
annexed by U.S.A., i. 155, 197; 

ii. 270 (n) 
Hay, John, ii. 21 
Hay-Bond Convention, ii. 21 
Heaton, Henniker, i. 23, 90, 92, 

272-273 

Hervey, Sir John, i. 98 
Hicks- Beach, Sir Michael, i. 249, 

369 

High Commissioner (cf. Agent- 
General) 

evolution of, ii. 126-129 
of Australia, i. 274 
of South Africa, ii. 112 
of Western Pacific, ii. 269 
powers of Canadian, i. 78-79 
Hime, Sir Albert, i. 338 
History, definition of, i. 133 



1NDFA 



101 



Hobart, convention at, i. 320 

fyr, Jan llrmlti.-k 
leader of Afrikander Hond, i. 00 
attends Imperial Conferences, 

i. i, I :{-.'. Ix.' 
linguistic powers, ii. 85 
prophetic insight, i. 70, 72 
surtax proposal, i. 09, 307 ; ii. 

321, 327, 367 
Remarks on 
cables, i. 104 
defence, i. 00 
land settlement, i. 124 
penny postage, i. 92 
preference, i. 04-74, 82, 182; 

ii. 215 (n) 

treaty powers, i. 82 
Holland, Sir Henry T., i. 3, 20, 35, 
41, 52, 76, 80, 90, 104, 106, 108, 
119,126,127,140; ii. 69 
Home Rule 
Australian resolutions re, ii. 60- 

01, 353 

Canadian idea of, ii. 113 
federalist solution of, ii. 113 
Imperial Conference and, i. 5 ; 

ii. 61 

Honolulu, i. 197 

Hood, Admiral Sir Arthur, i. 46 
Hopwood, Sir Francis, ii. 75 
House of Lords (cf. Appeal) 
Huddart, Mr., i. 216, 223 
Hudson Bay Company, i. 98 
HugJies, Colonel Samuel, ii. 49 
Hydrographic surveys, i. 149 ; ii. 100 



Immigration (cf. Aliens, Asiatics, 

Emigration) 
"Imperial," origin of term, ii. 

100 (n) 

Imperial Conference 
Members present 

1887, i. 3-4, 14 

1894, i. 132, 159 

1897, i. 288 

1902, i. 338 



Imperial Conference continued 

1907, ii. H 
Sessions of 

. i. 17-129 

1894, i. 169-242 

1897, i. 319-330 

1902, i. 352-374 

1907, ii. 68-349 
additional Ministers admitted, 

i. 8-11, 24, 163, 343 ; ii. 25- 

27, 41-42, 339 
" advisory " powers of, ii. 300, 

318 
agenda of (cf. Agenda), i. 8-11, 

24, 163, 343 ; ii. 25- 27, 41^12, 

339 
Agents-General and, i. 10, 93, 

211 ; ii. 72, 112, 123-124, 126- 

129 

Australian States and, ii. 37-39 
authority of representatives, i. 

12, 74, 82, 93, 94, 181-182 ; ii. 

58-59, 150, 300, 316-318 
autonomy of, ii. 36, 40, 120 
based on local unions, i. 322, 

334, 343; ii. 39, 43, 83, 113, 

374 

Britain's prerogative in, ii. 51 
" capital " resolutions, ii. 43 
chairmanship, i. 97, 196, 210 ; 

ii. 64, 109, 266, 373 
Chamberlain moulds, ii. 40 
Colonial Secretary's status, ii. 

110 

" committee " sittings, ii. 85-86 
compared to Parliament, i. 127 ; 

ii. 81 
confidential discussions, i. 115, 

125, 336 ; ii. 267, 274 
constitution of, i. 10, 12-13, 36, 

162, 320, 345-348 ; ii. 17, 33- 

40, 68-135, 218, 323, 374-375 
continuity of, i. 209, 225-226, 

230, 320 ; ii. 12-13, 43, 77-78, 

103, 118 
Crown Colonies and, i. 10, 14, 

84; ii. 97 
duration of sessions, i. 15, 330, 

349 ; ii. 41 



402 



INDEX 



Imperial Conference continued 
"equality of status" in, i. 12, 

163, 183-184 ; ii. 23, 76, 79, 

80, 100, 107-109, 120, 125, 

130 
evolution of, i. 11-13, 320-321, 

346-347 ; ii. 11, 19, 40, 96 
executive powers of, i. 13 ; ii. 

81-84, 117, 150 
foreign affairs discussed, i. 115- 

118, 125, 326, 335-336 ; ii. 77, 

266-274 

High Commissioners (cf. Agents- 
General] 
" Imperial Council," different 

from, i. 323 ; ii. 9-10, 18-19 
India and, i. viii-ix ; ii. 11, 41, 

97, 106 
intercolonial consultation prior 

to, i. 128 ; ii. 58 
invitations to attend, i. 8, 156, 

343 ; ii. 25, 54 

membership confined to Minis- 
ters, i. 320 
ministerial responsibility and, 

ii. 121 
"modes" of, i. 11-12, 57, 319, 

349, 373 ; ii. 42 
multilingualism in, ii. 84 
official conception of, i. 10, 12 (n), 

76, 158, 163, 348 ; ii. 51 
origin of, i. 5, 8, 141, 160, 319, 

343 ; ii. 10-11 
outsiders admitted to, i. 92, 102, 

333,335; ii. 86, 112,218 
parliamentary discussion re, ii. 

50, 59, 61 
parliamentary session clashes 

with, i. 128 ; ii. 24, 32, 34, 50, 

82, 133-134 
party system and, i. 14, 25, 189 ; 

ii. 53, 64, 180-183, 262 
periodical session of, i. 334, 344, 

366 ; ii. 40, 54, 106, 374 
permanent commission proposed 

for, ii. 13 
as political court of appeal, ii. 

266 
postponement of (1906), ii. 24 



Imperial Conference continued 
precedents respected by, i. 160, 

163 

prdcis report of, ii. 88-90 
presidency of, i. 14 ; ii. 82, 107, 

109, 121-122 
Prime Minister opens, i. 14, 17, 

161 ; ii. 76, 86 

procedure of, i. 11-12, 30,57, 76, 
90, 105, 163, 187, 336, 373 ; ii. 
33, 111, 120, 150, 373 
publicity of proceedings, i. 14- 
15, 164, 319, 348; ii. 80-81, 
86-93, 104, 151, 267 
Reports of, i. ix, 12, 16, 62, 132, 

319,339-340,348; ii. 75, 111 
Resolutions of, ii. 373-388 
secretarial machinery of (cf. Secre- 
tariat) 
"sectional" discussions at, i. 

11-12, 57, 336, 373 ; ii. 309 
self-consciousness of, i. 323, 347 ; 

ii. 40 

Sovereign's relation to, i. ] 61 
" Subsidiary Conferences," (q.v.~) 
title of, i. viii-ix, 183-184; ii. 

19, 75, 102 

" third readings," ii. 150 
voting system, i. 13, 76, 90, 105, 

163, 187; ii. 33, 111, 120, 373 
Imperial Council (cf. Advisory), i. 

323 ; ii. 9-10, 18-19 
Imperial Federation 
in 1887, i. 9, 25-26, 79-80 
Australia and, i. 25 ; ii. 59 
Canada and, i. 25 ; ii. 49 
defence and, i. 33 ; ii. 178 
Dependencies in, ii. 97 
League, i. 7 ; ii. 49, 70, 305 
theory of, ii. 96-98 
Imperial Union, i. 106-107 (cf. Pre- 
ference, Imperiali Conference, Im- 
perial Federation, Organic) 
Imperialism 

alternative methods of, i. xx- 
xxxiii, 323 ; ii. 24, 38, 102, 114- 
115, 305 

bases of contribution, ii. 325- 
328, 367 



1NDKX 



!< ; 



Imperialism continued 
British policy of, i. 8, 289-290, 

20(5; ii. 

Canadian attitude to, i. 314 ; ii. 

22, 170 

Colonial initiative in, ii. 69 
cosmopolitanism and, ii. 182 
Deakin's creed of, ii. 180 
effect of South African War, i. 

349-361 

" equality of sacrifice " in, ii. 367 
expansion of Empire, i. 297, 314 
" family " theory of, ii. 242, 244- 

246,265 

"gratitude" in, ii. 239, 280 
Liberalism and, i. 340 ; ii. 25 
postulates of, ii. 173 
racialism and, i. 289-290, 351 ; 

ii. 15, 16, 105 
separation urged, i. 28, 61 
"struggling community " objec- 
tion to, ii. 162, 171 
terminology of, i. x, 335 

Income Tax 

English system of, ii. 310-311 
question of double, ii. 32, 309- 
312 

India 

constitutional position of, ii. 94- 

95 

cotton duties in, ii. 120 
emigration from, i. 329 
fiscal policy of, ii. 219-222 
imperial fund and, ii. 327 
" Lascar " sailors, ii. 222 
preference and, ii. 188, 196, 219- 

222 

representation of, ii. 91 
trade of, ii. 210 

Indians (cf. Asiatics) 

disabilities in Colonies, ii. 222 

Inns of Court, ii. 318 

Interchange 

of civil servants, ii. 130 et seq. 
of military units, ii. 139-144 

Intercolonial Railway, i. 55, 98 

Ireland 

All-Red Route and, ii. 352, 355- 
356 



Ireland continued 

excluclucl from "Great Brit.-iin," 

i. x, 335 

Home Rule, i. 5 ; ii. 60, 113 
tobacco industry, ii. 216 



Jamaica, i. 342 
Jameson, L. S. 

Premier of Cape Colony, ii. 2, 

28,63 

Raid, i. 302, 304 
Imperialism of, ii. 102 
Remarks on 

advisory council, ii. 64 
All-Red Route, ii. 344 
coastwise trade, ii. 280 
Imperial Conference, ii. 84, 

107 
imperial fund, ii. 324, 332, 

335 

income tax, ii. 309-311 
judicial appeals, ii. 299, 304 
preference, ii. 212-216, 226, 

243, 264-265 
publicity of proceedings, ii. 

87-88 
secretariat, ii. 118-119, 123- 

124, 197 

South African Union, ii. 83 
title of Conference, ii. 109 
white labour, ii. 284 
Japan 

alliance with, i. 363 ; ii. 56 
commercial treaty with, i. 335 ; 

ii. 47 

Jennings, Sir Patrick, i. 3, 25, 85 
Jersey, Lord 

attends 1894 Conference, i. 132, 
157, 159, 189, 196, 222-223, 
231 
report on Conference, i. 186, 189, 

227, 230-232 
Johnson Island, i. 151 
Jourdain, Mr., i. 84 
Jubilee, Queen's, i. 126, 320 



404 



INDEX 



K 



Kelvin, Lord, i. 244 

Kimber, Sir Henry, i. 124 

King George's Sound, i. 23, 47 et seq. 

Kingston, C. C., i. 288, 331 

Knutsford, Lord (cf. Holland], i. 140 

Kriegsverein, i. 18 

Kruger, President, i. xix, 7, 302 



Labouchere, H., i. 297 

Labour Parties, ii. 61, 206, 245, 362 

Lake, General Sir Percy, ii. 139 

Lamington, Lord, i. 302 

Land Surveyors, ii. 31, 318 

Lascars, ii. 222, 362 

Laurier, Sir Wilfrid 

leader of Canadian Opposition, 

i. 189 
Premier of Canada, i. 288, 338, 

398 (n) ; ii. 2 
as Canadian Nationalist, ii. 16, 

17, 174 

as Home Ruler, ii. 113 
as Imperialist, ii. 102, 174 
as Pacificist, ii. 49, 52, 149 
adverse to State enterprise, i. 

271, 276 
accepts Conservative policy, i. 

189, 310, 341, 363 
attitude to Imperial Conference, 
ii. 32, 35, 50, 51, 107-108, 150 
declines chairmanship, ii. 110 
difficulties with French-Cana- 
dians, i. 343-344 ; ii. 16, 43, 
49, 50, 173-175 
his part in 1907 Conference, ii. 

176 
reiterates Preference policy, 

ii. 51 
Remarks on 

advisory council, ii. 52, 58, 

103, 105 

All-Red Route, ii. 339, 341, 
345, 352, 358 (n) 



Laurier, Sir Wilfrid continued 
Remarks on continued 

autonomy, ii. 73, 186, 258, 304, 

324 

basis of union, ii. 79, 80 
cattle embargo, ii. 258 
coastwise trade, ii. 276, 278- 

279 

" colonies," ii. 315 
constitution of Imperial Con- 
ference, ii. 33, 51, 79, 319 
copyright, ii. 316 
corn duty (1902), ii. 254-255 
emigration, ii. 287-288 
Free Trade within Empire, 

ii. 250 
Imperial Federation, i. 353 ; 

ii. 70 
imperial fund, ii. 322, 324, 

330, 336 

Intermediate Tariff, ii. 215, 256 
judicial appeals, ii. 300, 304 
naval defence, ii. 170-176 
preference, i. 368-369 ; ii. 51, 

186, 188, 224, 250-258 
publicity of proceedings, i. 340; 

ii. 86, 151 

quadrennial sessions, ii. 107 
secretariat, ii. 118, 121 
Subsidiary Conferences, ii. 113, 

114 

title of Conference, ii. 103, 108 
trade with U.S.A., ii. 252, 256 
treaty obligations, ii. 53, 274 
uniformity of laws, i. 372, 373 
Law, Sir Edward, ii. 196 
Law 

complexity of Imperial, ii. 299 
uniformity of (q.v.) 
League of the Empire, the, ii. 66 
Lemieux, Rodolphe, i. 271, 276- 

277 

Lesseps, M. de, ii. 363 
Lewin, P. E., i. 335 
Liberal-Imperialists, the, i. 317 ; 

ii. 349, 351 

Liberal-Unionism, i. 341 
Liberals, the English 
accession to office, ii. 25-26 



INDKX 



.-, Iho 
blunders in culoniul policy, ii. 05, 

270, 273 

cosmopolitanism of, ii. 182 
policy re All-Red Route, ii. 333, 

344, 359 
policy re preference, ii. 68, 105, 

160, 181, 347 

policy re South Africa, ii. 44, 62 
Licensing Bill, i. 274 
Load lines, i. 327, 336 
Londonderry, Lord, i. 312 
Long, W. H., ii. 355 
Loreburn, Lord, ii. 292, 301, 304 
Lorimer, James, i. 4 
Lome, Lord, i. 56 
Lubbock, Sir Neville, i. 83 
Lyne, Sir Wm., ii. 200, 245-248, 

342, 344 
Lyttelton, Alfred 

Secretary for Colonies, ii. 10 
proposes Advisory Council, ii. 10, 

69 

proposes Permanent Commis- 
sion, ii. 13, 14 
postpones Imperial Conference, 

ii. 24 
Lyttelton, Sir Neville, ii. 136 



M 

Macdonald, Sir John A. 
Premier of Canada, i. 7 
" National Policy," i. 7, 392 
proposes Imperial Reciprocity, 

i. 74 (n) 

eulogised by Chamberlain, i. 304 
death of, i. 147 

Mackay, Sir James, ii. 106, 218-221 
Mail Services (cf. All-Red Route) 
Canadian Atlantic, i. 216, 226, 

327 ; ii. 341, 358, 382 
Canada- Australasia, i. 99, 142, 

159, 214 ; ii. 359-362, 382 
Canada-China, i. 214, 222, 224- 

225, 227 ; ii. 340, 357, 382 
confusion of contracts for, i. 222 
discussion in 1887, i. 95-99 



Mail Services continued 
expenditure on Imperial, i. 213- 

214 ; ii. 388-390 
Now Zealand- Australia, ii. 362 
New Zealand-'Frisco, i. 213 ; ii. 

360 

Newfoundland, i. 96 
Panama route, i. 212 ; ii. 345, 352 
Resolutions re, i. 371 ; ii. 382-383 
Suez Canal route, i. 212-213, 218 ; 

ii. 341, 351 

West Indian, i. 214 ; ii. 390 
McKinley, President, ii. 270 (n) 
M' Bride, Richard, ii. 113 (n) 
M'lhcraith, Sir Thomas, i. 6, 116 
M'Neill, Mr., i. 306 
Marriage, law re, i. 24, 112 
Merchant Shipping Act, ii. 66 
Merchandise Marks Act, ii. 32 
Mercer, W. H., i. 163 
Metric system, i. 372 ; ii. 30, 42, 313 
Midleton, Lord (cf. Brodrick) 
Military Defence (cf. Defence) 
Australia and, i. 365 ; ii. 143-144 
Canada and, i. 55, 365; ii. 141- 

143, 149, 160 
New Zealand and, i. 362 ; ii. 144, 

146-147 
South Africa and, i. 22, 59-61, 

365; ii. 31, 144-146 
colonial contingents, i. 8, 31, 

349-151, 363 
commissions in Imperial army, 

i. 344 
control of colonial forces, i. 365 ; 

ii. 145-147 
expeditionary forces, i. 362-366 ; 

ii. 137-145 

General Staff, ii. 136 et seq., 384 
German Kriegsverein, i. 18 
Imperial officers in Colonies, i. 30 
inspection of colonial forces, i. 31 
obligation of colonial forces, i. 31 
precedence of forces, i. 30 
reserves in Colonies, i. 325, 344, 

350, 362-366 
reserve of ofticeri, ii. 140 
training of officers, ii. 140 
Territorial Army, ii. 138, 147 



406 



INDEX 



Military Defence continued 

uniformity of weapons, i. 345 ; 

ii. 142 
War Office's policy, i. 350, 362- 

366 ; ii. 136 et seq. 
Mills, Sir Charles, i. 4, 113, 201, 206 
Milner, Lord, i. 273, 317 ; ii. 23, 60, 

212 

Miquelon, i. 56 ; ii. 163 
Monroe Doctrine, ii. 270 (n) 
Moor, F. R., ii. 2, 63, 74, 84, 145, 

161, 163, 216, 257, 280, 285, 

314, 332 

Morgan, Sir William, i. 38 
Morley, John, i. 297, 303 ; ii. 2 
Morrier, Sir Robert, i. 380 
Morris, Sir Daniel, i. 300 (n) 
Muirhead, Dr., i. 244 
MulocJc, Sir William, i. 224, 254, 266, 

271, 338 
Mundella, A. J., 114 



N 



Natal (cf. South Africa; also 

Robinson, Moor) 
immigration Act, i. 328 
Japanese treaty, i. 335 
native rising, i. 283; ii. 60, 65, 

95, 145 (n), 163 
penny postage, i. 94 
preference, i. 74, 75 ; ii. 265 
railway, i. 30 
self-government conferred, i. 13 

(n), 20 
National ism 

colonial, i. xviii-xxiii, 376 ; ii. 5, 

38, 96, 129, 132, 155, 235, 247, 

249 

definition of, ii. 15 
Naturalisation, i. 344 ; ii. 31, 386 
1902, 372 
1907, 305-309 
Naval Defence (cf. Defence) 

Australia and, i. 22, 34, 43-44, 

46, 360 ; ii. 60, 143, 165, 176 
Canada and, i. 54-56 ; ii. 49, 159- 

161, 166, 169-170, 172-175, 361 



Naval Defence continued 
Newfoundland and, i. 57, 360; 

ii. 21, 162-163 
New Zealand and, i. 37, 39, 48, 

344, 358, 360 ; ii. 31, 57, 156, 

158-159, 165, 168 
South Africa and, i. 57-61, 68- 

69, 360-362 ; ii. 156, 161-162, 

165, 169, 170-172 
Admiralty's policy, i. 32, 36-37, 

44-45, 54, 358-359 : ii. 77, 151- 

157, 164-165, 168, 330-332, 350 
Australasian Agreement, i. 29, 

36-40, 44, 330-331, 339-340, 

344, 359, 360 (n), 375-376; 

ii. 29, 59, 165, 167-168 
Australian squadron, i. 43 
basis of contribution, i. 30-77 ; 

ii. 158, 172-179 
cadetships, i. 37, 46, 366; ii. 166, 

384 

Canadian Lakes, i. 56 ; ii. 160, 179 
coaling stations, i. 21, 51 
colonial flags, ii. 165 
colonial subsidies, i. 40, 325, 358, 

360-361 ; ii. 156 
control of colonial vessels, i. 44- 

45 ; ii. 153-155 
docks, i. 57; ii. 157, 159, 162- 

163, 166 

Duke of Devonshire on, i. 331 
Fisher's concentration, ii. 164 
" hugging the shore," i. 332 
India's part in, ii. 222 
" local navies," i. 43-45 ; ii. 157, 

165, 167, 169 
merchant ships as cruisers, i. 217, 

224, 227-228 ; ii. 382 
" mixed interests " principle, i. 

22,34 
Naval Reserves in Colonies, i. 56, 

332, 359-360 ; ii. 157, 161, 163, 

164 

Naval Review, i. 324 
North American Squadron, 1. 56 
North Pacific Squadron, i. 56 
political hypothesis of ,ii. 151-155 
Resolution, proposed, 1907, ii. 

170 



INDEX 



Naval Defence continued 
submarines, ii. 1.~>I, lf>7 
two-Power standard, ii. 1)17 
u in-lr-s t'K-^r:ipliy, ii. 
Necker Island, i. I.. I 
Nefam, Sir Hugh, i. 288 
New Caledonia, i. 'Jll, Uti 
New Guinea, L 6, 27, 110-117, 330 ; 

ii. 125 
New Hebrides, i. 15, 27, 330 ; ii. 267- 

271 

New South Wales (cf. Australia ; 
also Jennings, Wisdom, Samuel, 
X ut tor, Reid) 
cable agreement, i. 259 
New Zealand (cf. Bell, Fitzherbert, 

Smith, Seddon, Ward) 
agenda for Imperial Conference 

(cf. Agenda) 

affairs, 1902-1907, ii. 53 d teq. 
cable rates, i. 201 
coastwise trade, i. 374 ; ii. 275 
co-operation with Australia, i. 

203, 367 ; ii. 58 
immigration policy, ii. 284 
Maori wars, i. 22 
naturalisation, ii. 305-309 
reciprocity with Canada, i. 192 : 

ii. 360-361 
reciprocity with Australia, i. 192 ; 

ii. 205 
tariff, i. 367 ; ii. 210, 331, 369- 

373 

treaty powers, i. 78-83 
volunteer system, ii. 146 
women in professions, ii. 316 
Newfoundland (cf. Shea, Bond) 
agenda for Imperial Conference 

(cf. Agenda) 

Agent-General, ii. 127 () 
Atlantic cable, i. 57 
coastwise trade, ii. 280 
confederation with Canada, i. 

335 ; ii. 127 (n) 
fisheries dispute, i. xliv, 12; ii. 

65, 272-274 
foreign bounties, i. 83 
French shore, i. 24 
Japanese treaty, i. 335 



Newfoundland continued 
negotiations with U.S.A., i. 238- 

I] ii. 47 
trade, ii. 327, 332 

Nichol>n, Sir William, ii. l::<". 
Nursing Asiociation, Colonial, ii. 8 







Oliver, F. S., i. xviii 
Olney, Secretary, i. 302 
Orange Free State, i. 173, 182 
Orange River Colony (cf. South 

Africa), ii. 02, 73 
Organic Union, i. xix-xxvii, 29, 03, 

100 

Osier, E. B., i. 312 
Ottawa 
Board of Trade, i. 133, 145, 272, 

391-390 
Improvement Commission, ii. 338 



Pacific Cable 

1887, i. 99-106, 330 

1894, i. 194-212 

1897, i. 247, 327 

Britain and, i. 149, 247, 250 

Canada and, i. 139, 141-142, 145, 

200, 210, 248 
Cape Colony and, i. 200 
India and, i. 102, 139 
New South Wales and, i. 200, 259 
New Zealand and, i. 257 
Queensland and, i. 200, 257 
South Australia and, i. 102, 140, 

157, 198, 205, 250 
accounts of, i. 208-269, 397 
advantages of, i. 103, 140 (n), 195, 

199, 201 
agreement of partnership, L 257- 

258 
Australian difficulties, i. 142, 248, 

249, 258-259. 274, 339 
Board, i. 247, 251, 279 
Canadian mission to Australia, 

i. 141-147 



408 



INDEX 



Pacific Gable continued 

Chamberlain's policy, i. 385- 

386 
Committee on, i. 244-246, 263, 

336 
Commonwealth's agreement, i. 

266-267 

construction of, i. 149, 262-263 
contract for, i. 260 
Eastern Company's agreements, 

i. 144, 266-267 

Eastern Company's opposition, 
i. 136, 142-144, 245, 247-248, 
252-262 

estimated cost of, i. 196 
experts' views, i. 148-149 
financial basis of, i. 207, 249, 268, 

270 

Hawaii and, i. 154-155, 197 
land lines, i. 251, 261, 268-269 
Necker episode, i. 151-155 
New Caledonia cable, i. 146 
origin of, i. 23, 137 
Ottawa Board of Trade supports, 

i. 133, 145, 391-396 
press rates, i. 270, 274 
proposed extension, i. 104 
question of control, i. 207-208, 

260-261, 383-389 
Resolutions re, ii. 380-381 
route, i. 212 

survey, i. 105-106, 138-142, 145- 
146, 155, 194, 196-197, 204- 
205, 211-212, 243, 262 
tenders for, i. 240 
Pacific 

British policy in, i. 6, 24, 27, 115- 
116, 202, 336, 345, 373 ; ii. 30, 
267-270 

High Commissioner for, ii. 269 
Panama Canal, ii. 30, 345, 352 
Papua (cf. New Guinea) 
Pardon, prerogative of, i. 118-122 
Parkin, G. R., ii. 8 
Paris Exhibition, \. 327 
Parliament 

Bill (1910), ii. 240 
composition of British, ii. 240, 
317 



" Partnership, Imperial "- 
definition of, ii. 99-100 
principle of, ii. 23, 153, 236, 326 
without Britain, i. 186, 206 
Patents 

British Act, ii. 325 

law re, i. 115, 344, 371; ii. 30, 32, 

42, 314 

resolution re, ii. 385 
Paterson, W. B., i. 338 
Patey, Captain, i. 151 
Peace Conference, ii. 57 
Peel, George, i. 284 (n) 
Pender, Sir John, i. 100-102, 103, 

134, 142-143, 156-157 
Phillip, Governor, ii. 267 
Play ford, Thomas, i. 132, 184, 198- 

199, 205, 207, 218 
Plunkett, Sir Horace, ii. 355 
Political Relations (cf. Imperial Con- 
ference, Imperial Federation, Im- 
perialism, Governor, Treaty} 
1887, i. 9, 17 
1897, i. 334 
1902, i. 366 
1911, ii. 68-135 
Pollock, Sir Frederick, ii. 7-10, 22, 

23, 196 

Porto Rico, i. 379 
Postage (cf. Postal) 
Imperial penny, i. 23, 90-94, 249, 

274, 327, 336 ; ii. 319 
magazine, with Canada, i. 271, 

278, 372 

parcel, with Canada, i. 278 
penny, with Australia, i. 92-94, 

274 ; ii. 319 

penny, with Canada, i. 249 
Resolutions re, ii. 383 
universal penny, ii. 31, 319, 

383 

Postal (cf. Postage, Mail Services) 
Calais-Brindisi charges, i. 91 
cash on delivery (Imperial), ii. 

319 

Imperial Postal Order, ii. 319 
Money Order conventions, i. 78 
Union, international, i. 90, 94 ; 
ii. 289 



[NDEX 



14)9 



.1.24 
1894, i. 166-191 

ISIIT, i. :!_':,, :\-2c,, :i33 
190-2, i. :s<;r. :no 

1907, ii. 180-205 

Australia and, i. 74, 169, 179, 235, 

307 ; ii. 28, 40, 197-209, 223, 

309-373 
Britain and, i. 18, 76, 170, 233- 

234, 307, 310-313, 320, 355-350, 

309 ; ii. 45, 68, 77, 213, 218, 264 
Canada and, i. 74, 189, 192, 105- 

100, 278, 311-312, 329, 341, 

367-373, 399-401 ; ii. 47, 51, 

57, 224, 238, 250-257, 329 
New Zealand and, i. 74, 182, 192, 

344, 307 ; ii. 31, 58, 209, 331, 

308 
Newfoundland and, i. 74 ; ii. 21, 

240,205 
South Africa and, i. 10, 06-74, 

173, 182-183, 367 ; ii. 31, 46, 

03, 200, 212, 214, 239, 248-249, 

265 

a business policy, i. 185 ; ii. 192 
a comprehensive policy, i. 180; 

ii. 193, 211 

an instinctive policy, ii. 246 
adaptability of, i. 374-375 
American view of British, i. 

357 (n) 
Australian Bill (1906), ii. 46, 205- 

206 
Australian resolution (1907), ii. 

28, 180-187 
autonomy in, i. 183 ; ii. 190-192, 

226, 235, 241, 243, 253, 263 
basis of political union, i. xxxi- 

xxxii, 73, 79-80, 100-107, 198, 

242, 310-311, 326, 340, 374- 

375 ; ii. 3, 24, 60, 08-09, 115, 

170, 228-229, 245, 265, 305- 

300, 313-314, 307 
Board of Trade and, i. 170 ; ii. 

238, 369-373 
Canadian memorandum re, i. 356, 

367-370, 399-401 
Chamberlain scheme of, i. 65 



/ 'n-fcrcncc continued 

( '. .1. .1 .i;il constitution* and, i. 109, 

00 

Colonial experience of, | 
Colonial offers of, i. 307, 30!) ; ii. 

6, 214, 209, 255 
Colonial unanimity re, ii. 181 
Colonies not mendicants, ii. 246 
Commission of inquiry, i. 326; 

ii. 10 
defence and, i. 66-77 ; ii. 178-179, 

205, 249-250 

development of, overseas, ii. 40 
dominates Imperial Conference, 

ii. 190 
effect on British trade, i. 356; 

ii. 210, 224, 238, 372 
effect on prices, i. 356 (n) ; ii. 

199-202, 243-244 
"even-handed," i. 71; ii. 226- 

227, 242, 259, 347 
examination of tariffs, i. 190 
exemption of raw material, ii. 

228-232 

experimentation in, ii. 259-260 
"family" theory of, ii. 242 
food duties and, ii. 5 
" forbidden list," ii. 7 
foreign markets, in, i. 71, 81-82, 

239-240, 247 ; ii. 47, 194, 216 
foreign policy and, i. 370 ; ii. 267 
foreign trade and, i. 186, 238, 

239, 334 (n) ; ii. 194 
function of Imperial Conference 

re, ii. 229-232 
Germany hostile to, ii. 46 
Government contracts, in, i. 374 ; 

ii. 144, 249, 378 
" gratitude " theory of, ii. 239 
intercolonial, i. 71, 181, 185, 192, 

235; ii. 46, 197, 213-214, 361, 

369-373, 376 

Labour Party and, ii. 61, 206, 238 
Liberal Party and, ii. 68, 105, 

169, 181,347 

" locked " preferences, ii. 243 
methods of effecting, i. 185, 190, 

373 ; ii. 99, 194, 199, 212, 210, 

224, 229-232, 244, 259-260, 262 



410 



INDEX 



Preference continued 

" most-favoured-nation " in, ii. 

187-189 
objections to, i. 183-186, 233-242 ; 

ii. 218-245 
on alcohol, ii. 214 
on raw materials, i. 307 ; ii. 184- 

185, 191, 213, 225-227, 241 
on sugar, i. 90 (n) ; ii. 216, 219- 

220 

on tea, ii. 216, 219-220 
on tobacco, ii. 216, 226 
on wheat, ii. 244 
on wine, i. 184 ; ii. 226 
origin of, i. 16, 165, 189 ; ii, 212 
parliamentary government and, 

ii. 218, 242, 261-262 
party system and, ii. 68, 231- 

232, 261-262 
postal rates, in, i. 278 
Protection and, i. 356 ; ii. 195, 

207, 223-224, 234 
Resolutions on, i. 333, 356, 367 ; 

ii. 180, 250, 254, 263, 379 
"retaliation" and, i. 72, 370; 

ii. 195, 211, 280 
" sacrifice," in, ii. 5, 231 
sentiment, in, i. 184-185 
shipping, in, i. 344, 374 ; 31-32, 

46, 205-206, 278, 350, 361-362, 

368, 380 

" substitutes for," ii. 193, 368 
taxation reduced by, i. 356 ; ii. 

217, 252 (n) 
treaty basis of, i. 190 ; ii. 194, 

244, 262 
treaty obstacles to, i. 165, 171, 

235, 326, 333, 344 ; ii. 30, 31, 

46, 194, 362, 376-377, 379 
"unilateral," i. 185, 367-369 ; ii. 

212, 214, 216, 225, 249, 254, 

260, 264-265, 379 
Unionist Party and, i. 369-370 , 

ii. 4 



Q 



Queen Victoria Memorial, i. 374 



Queensland (cf. Australia ; also 
Griffith, Thynne, William 
Forrest) 

annexes New Guinea, i. 116-117 
mail service, i. 220 
sugar industry, ii. 283 



R 



Raikes, H. C., i. 3, 91, 100 
Railways 

combined through rates, ii. 204, 

241 
Reciprocity (cf. Preference) 

Canada-U.S.A., i. 172, 237, 238, 
240, 242 ; ii. 99 (n) 

Hawaii-U.S.A., i. 197 

intercolonial (cf. Preference, in- 
tercolonial) 

Newfoundland, U.S.A., i. 230 

theory of, ii. 329 

in professions, ii. 316-319 
Redmond, John, ii. 355 
Reeves, W. P., ii. 8, 23, 352 
Referendum, ii. 248 
Reid, G. H., i. 288 
Reserve (cf. Military, Naval) 
Retaliation, fiscal (cf. Preference) 

Canadian experience, i. 241 ; ii. 
46, 369 

Indian experience, ii. 219 

in coastwise trade, ii. 277-279 
Resolutions 

of Imperial Conference, ii. 369- 
388 

" capital," ii. 43 
Renter, i. 281 

Rhodes, C. J., i. 7 ; ii. 212 
Rhodes scholars, ii. 134 
Rhodesia (cf. South Africa), i. 294, 
301 ; ii. 63 

preferential tariff, ii. 212 
Ripon, Lord 

Colonial Secretary, i. 145 

on Preference, i. 169, 233-240, 
308 

on Pacific cable, i. 145, 147 
Ritchie, Lord, i. 370 (n) 



INDMX 



411 



Roberts, Lonl, i.. In 

' Sn .John, i. 57, 61,75,94, 
106, 1-JI 

Robson, Lord, ii. 31(i 
Rosebery, Lord, i. 7, 152-155, 314 ; 

ii. 70 
" Round Table," the, ii. 56 (n) 

'! Colonial Institute, i. 14, 272, 
318; ii. 8 

Royal Commission 
on defence (1879), i. 21 
on shipping rebates, ii. 32 
on West Indies, i. 169 ; ii. 229 

(n), 264 (n), 284 (n) 
" Royal William," the, i. 164 
Rusk-Bagot Treaty, i. 56 ; ii. 160, 
179 



S 



St. Pierre, i. 56; ii. 163 
Salisbury, Lord 

at 1887 Conference, i. 3, 5, 7, 17, 

115 

on fiscal impotence, i. 180 
Samoa, i. 15 ; ii. 270 (n) 
Samuel, Sir Saul, i. 35, 92 
Sandwich Islands (cf. Hawaii) 
Sassoon, Sir Edward, i. 265, 273 
Sauer, J. W., ii. 63 
Schooling, J. H., ii. 203 
Secretariat (cf. Imperial Conference), 
i. 128,209-210; ii. 23, 28, 115, 
116-130, 132-133, 274 
Australian proposal of, ii. 28 
commercial use of, ii. 197 
constitutional aspect of, ii. 23, 79 
functions of, ii. 133, 197, 216, 

308, 314, 315, 334 
need of, i. 209 ; ii. 23, 43 
Seddon, R. J. 

Premier of New Zealand, i. 288, 

338, 344, 347, 373 ; ii. 26, 53 
on advisory council, ii. 54 
on Australian reciprocity, ii. 205 
on British interests in Pacific, 

ii. 269 (n) 

on Imperial Conference (1906) 
ii. 54, 58 



Seddon, R. J. continued 
on naval defence, i. 357 
death of, ii. 55 

Seeley, Professor J. R., i. 7, 318, 352 
Seeley, Colonel J., ii. 362 
Xelborne, Lord, i. 244, 338, 358-350, 

361-362 ; ii. 83 (n) 
Service, James, i. 40, 120, 122, 123 
on Free Trade, i. 87-88 
on Pacific Cable, i. 105 
on preference, i. 75 
on Treaty Powers, i. 80 
Shaughnessy, Sir Thomas, ii. 352 
Shea, Sir Ambrose, i. 57, 96 
Sherman, John, ii. 270 (n) 
Shipping (ci. All-Red Route, Coastwise 

Trade, Mail Services) 
Australian legislation, ii. 277-278 
Australian trade, ii. 203, 248, 

277-278 

Canadian cargo services, ii. 360 
emigration and, ii. 343 
growth of foreign, i. 21 ; ii. 248, 

364 

Lascar sailors, ii. 222, 362 
load lines, i. 327, 336 
merchant shipping law, i. 24, 109, 

373 ; ii. 66 
preference and, i. 344, 374 ; ii. 

31-32, 58, 193, 205, 216, 380 
rebates, ii. 32 
Resolutions re, i. 377 
subsidies, ii. 32, 215, 241, 271, 

288, 360, 383, 388-390 
trade induced by, ii. 21 1 
Siemens, A., i. 243 
Sifton, Clifford, ii. 351, 354 
Simon's Bay, i. 21, 57 et seq.; ii. 162 
Singapore, i. 21-22 
Smartt, T. A., ii. 146, 161, 226 
on copyright, ii. 315 
on defence, ii. 144, 169, 170-171 
on preference, ii. 248, 257 
Smith, Sir Donald (cf. Strathcona), 

i. 244 

Smith, Goldwin, i. 96 
Smith, Lee, i. 132, 162, 182, 190, 201, 
203-206, 207, 211-212, 214, 
221,225 



412 



INDEX 



Smith, W. H., i. 3 

South Australia (cf. Australia ; also 
Downer, Blyth, Plat/ford, King- 
ston') 

and New Guinea, i. 118 
and Pacific cable, i. 256 
South Africa (cf. Hofmeyr, Mills^ 
Jameson, Smartt, Moor, Botha) 
agenda for Imperial Conference 

(cf. Agenda) 
affairs in (cf. Chamberlain), ii. 28, 

62-65 

Boer War, i. 344, 349-351 ; ii. 136 
British immigration, i. 124 ; ii. 

284 

coastwise trade, ii. 280 
Customs Union, i. 182, 235 ; ii. 
46, 63, 213, 250, 265, 369, 376 
expansion of, i. 297 
Imperialism in, i. 57, 59 
Jameson Raid, i. 302 
native-born in, ii. 249 
union of, i. 322; ii. 48, 83, 95, 

145, 164, 295 

white labour in, ii. 284-285 
Spain, trade with, i. 379-382 
Sprigg, Sir J. Gordon, i. 338 
Squier, Lieutenant G. O., i. 141 (n) 
Stamp Duties, i. Ill, 344, 373; ii. 

312 

Stanhope, Edward, i. 8, 28-29, 48 
Stanley of Preston, Lord, i. 114-115 
Steamship Communications (cf. All- 
Red Route, Mail Service, Ship- 
ping) 

resolutions re, ii. 382 
Strathcona, Lord (cf. Smith), ii. 126, 

252, 350 
Subsidies 

cable companies, i. 103, 390 
mail, i. 213-214, 216, 225; ii. 

388-390 
naval (q.v.) 
shipping (q.v.) 
select committee on shipping, ii. 

241, 349 

Subsidiary Conference, i. 274 ; ii. 34, 
65, 67, 81, 83, 112-115, 315, 
335, 375 



Subsidiary Conference continued 
on Defence (1909), i. 36J (n) ; ii. 

34 

on Education (1907), ii. 67 
on Judicial Appeals (1901), ii. 

298 
on Navigation (1907), ii. 65, 78, 

83, 275 

Succession Duty, i. 24, 113 
Sudan campaign, i. 6, 316, 320 
Sues Canal 

Australia and, ii. 363 
Cape Colony and, i. 60, 222 
tolls, ii. 211, 233, 325, 348, 362- 

365 
Sugar 

abolition of preference, i. xlii 
Australian industry, i. 83, 85 
Bounties, i. 83-90 
Natal industry, ii. 285 (n) 
West Indian, i. 66, 83 
Surtax 

in New Zealand, ii. 331 
proposed Imperial, i. 69 ; ii. 321- 

333, 367 

Surveyors, reciprocity re, ii. 318 
Sutherland, Sir Thomas, ii. 354 
Suttor, F. B., i. 132, 194, 200, 207, 
211,219 



Table Bay, i. 57 et seq. 

Taft, President, i. xxxv ; ii. 329 

Tahiti, ii. 267 

Tariff Reform, i. 377 ; ii. 184, 229, 

240, 322 

Tascherau, Sir Henri, ii. 293 
Tasmania (cf . Dodds, Douglas, Fitz- 
gerald, Braddon) 
Taxation 

incidence of customs duties, i. 
356; ii. 199-201, 203, 210, 
243-244, 248 
question of double, i. 113 
ulterior purposes of, ii. 225 
" without representation," i. 33 
Telegraphs 
Australian, i. 102, 198-199 



H:J 



Telegraphs continued 

Cttiiiidinii, i. 270 

ln<li;ui, i. 102 

advantages of choap rates, i. 282 

imtii'iiiilixitiiiii df, i. *J7i>. 
wireless, i. .'Mr,, W ; ii. '209, 100, 

Teneri/e, ii. 360 
Tennyson, Lord, ii. 30, 280 
Terminology, ii. 106 (n), 112, 315, 

373 

difficulties of, i. x, 350 ; ii. 17 
obstructive power of, ii. 129, 154> 

;;:;s 
of Imperial Conference, ii. 108- 

109 

Territorial Army, ii. 138, 147 
Thompson, Sir John, i. 161, 232 
Thorburn, Robert, i. 3 
Thursday Island, i. 23 
Thynne, A. J., i. 132, 200, 208, 210, 

219 

Tilley, Sir Leonard, i. 74 (n), 379 
Title, of Sovereign, i. 125-126 
Todd, Sir Charles, i. 140, 199 
Torres Straits, i. 47 et seq. 
Tozer, Sir Horace, i. 261 (n) 
Trade (cf. Preference) 
Australian, statistics, ii. 198, 207 
British with Australia, ii. 203, 

246 

British with New Zealand, ii. 210 
Canada-Australia, i. 191 ; ii. 360 
Colonial v. foreign, i. 20, 69, 186, 

358 ; ii. 192 (n), 210 
commercial intelligence, ii. 233 
Commissioners in Dominions, ii. 

211, 365 

cotton in South Africa, ii. 250 
" Dumping," ii. 204 
frozen meat, i. 79, 219 
" natural" course of, ii. 221, 252, 

325 

statistical reports of, ii. 314 
Trade Marks,i. 114 
Transvaal (cf . South Africa, Botha) 
Chinese labour (q.v.) 
defences of, ii. 145 
Lyttelton constitution, ii. 44 



Transvaal continued 

self-government in, ii. 62, 85 
Treaty 
American with Spain, i. 379-382 

with Hawaii, i. !7 
British with Belgium and Ger- 
many, i. 1T, 170, 173, 235, 
326-327, 333-334 
British with France, 18GO, ii. 21 I 
with France re Tunis, i. 
with France, 1893 (Canadian), 

ii. 97, 127 

with France, 1904, ii. 268 
with France, 1907 (Canadian), 

ii. 99, 127, 257 
with Japan (alliance), ii 
with Japan (commercial), i. 

335; ii. 47 
with Spain (Canadian), i. 78, 

173, 379 
with U.S.A., 1817, i. 56; ii. 160, 

179 

with U.S.A., 1818, i. xxxvi 
with U.S.A., 1854, i. 172 
consultation prior to, i. 344, 371 ; 

ii. 31, 270, 375 

powers of Colonies, i. 67, 78-83, 
169-174, 237-240, 326-327, 
344, 379-382 ; u. 30, 31, 53, 55, 
95-96, 379 

Resolutions re, ii. 375, 379 
uniformity of obligations, i. 238- 

339 ; ii. 274, 362, 375 
Tribalism, principle of, ii. 15-16, 

148, 174 
Trustees, investments by, i. 24, 110- 

111,336; ii. 380 
Tryon, Admiral, i. 23, 36, 50 
Tunis, convention re, i. 335 
Tupper, Sir Charles, i. 74, 152-153, 

169 ; ii. 126 
on High Commissionerships, ii. 

128 

on naval defence, ii. 169 
on negotiations with Spain, i. 

79, 379-382 

on South African War, i. 350 
Turner, Sir George, i. 288 
TvxeddaU, Lord, i. 134, 252 



414 INDEX 

Tweedmouth, Lord, ii. 151 et 



U 



Uganda 

occupation of, i. 298 
railway, i. 299 ; ii. 278 (ri) 
Unemployed Workmen Act, ii. 286 
Uniformity 
of law (cf. next) 
of military weapons, i. 345 ; ii. 

142 

of trade statistics, ii. 314, 380 
of treaty obligations (cf. Treaty) 
Uniformity of Law, i. 24, 108-109 ; 

ii. 299, 385 
in relation to 
bankruptcy, ii. 385 
conspiracy, ii. 314 
judicial appeals, i. 324 ; ii. 387 
naturalisation, ii. 305-309 
patents, i. 115 ; ii. 32, 42, 314 
preference, ii. 188 
shipping, i. 373 
trade marks, i. 114 
methods of attaining, i. 108- 

109 

Union, Imperial (q.v.) 
Union, international 
Postal, i. 90, 94 ; ii. 289 
for Protection of Industrial Pro- 
perty, i. 114 
Unionists, the English 
attitude to Imperial Conference, 

ii. 64 

attitude to Preference, ii. 195 
Government, in 1905, ii. 25, 54 
Imperialism of, ii. 26 
South African policy of, ii. 44 
United States 
coastwise trade, ii. 275 et seq. 
isolation abandoned, ii. 52 
naval development, ii. 53, 175 
naval forces on Lakes, ii. 170, 179 
trade with, ii. 210 (n) 
view of " Chamberlain program," 
i. 357 (n) 



Venezuela, dispute with, i. xliv, 302, 

304 

Victoria (cf. Australia; also Deakin, 
Service,Berry,Wrixon,Fraser) 
defence expenditure, i. 39 
preference, i. 75 
Vincent, Sir Howard, i. 126 
Vogel, Sir Julius, i. 104 



W 

Ward, Sir Joseph G. 
Postmaster-General of New 

Zealand, i. 201-202 
Premier of New Zealand, ii. 2, 28, 

34,55 

mission to Ottawa (1895), ii. 343 
Seddon's lieutenant, i. 347 
attempts Australian reciprocity, 

ii. 205 

pre-Conference speeches, ii. 55-56 
his Imperialism, ii. 34, 102 
Remarks on 

advisory council, ii. 55, 58, 

59 (n), 104 
All-Bed Route, ii. 211, 342- 

346, 358-359 

Asiatic immigration, ii. 55-58 
defence, ii. 57, 144, 146, 158, 

168, 301 

immigration, ii. 284, 343 
imperial fund, ii. 331 
incidence of duties, ii. 201 
judicial appeals, ii. 299, 301 
penny postage, ii. 319-320 
preference, ii. 197, 209-211 
publicity of proceedings, ii. 

87, 209-211 
reciprocity in professions, ii. 

316-318 

secretariat, ii. 127 
Subsidiary Conference, ii. 83 
Suez Canal tolls, ii. 211 
title of Conference, ii. 108 
treaty obligations, ii. 275 
wireless telegraphy, ii. 290 



ii-, 



Qffite 

as medium of supply, ii. I l_ 
policy of (cf. Military) 
Way, Sir Samuel, ii. 293 
Webb, M. de P., ii. 190 (n) 
Western Australia (cf. J. Forrest, 

Burt) 
receives self - government, L 

13 (n) 

West India Committee, i. 83 
West Indies 
Canada and, i. 85-86 
Imperial Department of Agricul- 
ture, i. 300 
Imperial policy in, i. xlii, 85, 

342-343 

Mail services, i. 214 ; ii. 389-390 
Preference and, i. 60 
Royal Commission on, i. 109, 229 

(n), 204 (n), 284 () 
Sugar industry in, i. 83-80 
United States and, i. 85, 342 
Wheat 

Australian interest in, ii. 200 
Canadian interest in, ii. 5-6 
prices of, ii. 201 (n) 



Whiteway, Sir William B., i. 288 

Widateed, J. and H., L 16fi 

Wine, preference on, i. 184 ; ii. 200* 

214 

Wireless telegraphy (cf. Telegraphy) 
Wisdom, Sir Robert, i. 44 
Wise, B. R., ii. 23 
Wriacon, Sir Henry, i. 132, 171, 202, 

209, 210, 230 

Wolseley, General Sir Garnet, i 6 
Wool, preference on, ii. 213, 225, 

230-231 



Young, Sir Frederick, i. 7 



Zollverein 

German, i. 18, 306; ii. 234, 250- 
251 

Imperial British, 233, 306, 350 
Zulu War, i. 7 



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